We had a celebration of life gathering for him on Wednesday. The whole community, friends, co-workers and family came out. Hundreds of people came and went. It was nice.
Here is the Eulogy and speech I wrote for him (forgive the grammar mistakes):
Henry was my only son. I wasn’t as close to him as he was with his mother. We didn’t have the same kind of relationship. However, I could see as he was getting older, that he was starting to show interest in spending time with me. Just a few weeks ago I began teaching him how to play Chess. He loved it, and I could see it was something he could accel at. We did spend lots of time together, over the years, playing video games, watching movies, going to the Sault etc; but he had his own interests, and he had his own routine that he liked to follow. I took him fishing for the first time the summer before last. He really enjoyed that, (we went a few times) and he would often ask me when we were going to go again. “Next summer son...” I told him. He was really looking forward to it, and so was I.
It’s only been over the past year that I’ve really come to understand my son. Why he liked the things he liked, why he did the things he did, the way he did them, and how he did them. I was hard on him for a long time. I wanted my son to be a responsible adult when he grew up and I had high standards for discipline and behavior. But most importantly, I wanted my son to know that Jesus was his Lord and Savior. It was often a struggle for me, to communicate with my son. My wife understood him better than I, and tried very hard to help me understand him. I was bull headed and stubborn and it took a long time. I wasn’t good at bending. Eventually though, I came to understand him better, but I give my wife all of the credit. Henry’s death was very sudden and unexpected. His illness came out of nowhere. My wife stayed with him the whole time, keeping his spirits up, encouraging him and keeping him from being afraid. She stayed with him until the very end. She was strong for him. I will always remember that for the rest of my life. There was a point during this process where Henry asked my wife “Mom, am I going to die?” and she responded “You might die, but the doctors are going to do everything they can to make sure it doesn’t happen, but if you do, you know where you are going, so you don’t have to be afraid."
Psalm 139:13-16 says “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
See.. God knew what Henry was going to be like before he was born. God knew what kind of mother and father he needed to help him through life and death. God chose my wife and I to be his parents, and we were very blessed. God laid everything out before us and took care of us. He took care of Henry and our family during this most difficult of times, and he continues too. Henry knew where he was going. I take great comfort in knowing that the last face he saw before going to sleep was his mother, and the next face he saw was Jesus Christ.
I want to thank everyone for their support over the past few weeks. We are very grateful for everything everyone has done for us and for the prayers. We know you loved our Henry. Most importantly, I want to thank God for helping us, for being there for my only son Henry. He knows how I feel, because he lost a son once too.