Last week was one of the most difficult of my life, watching my wonderful Father's health deteriorate rapidly and then saying farewell to him when he died on Thursday night. Thankfully we spent the week before hand in Forster so had precious moments with him and could make sure nothing was left unsaid. It was very hard to see him suffering but he was holding on trying to get to my nephew, his eldest grandchild's wedding which was on Saturday. It was very sad he couldn't be there and it hurt to see my mum on her own, but we were so relieved to see him not suffering any more. Back in April Dad was given 6 to 12 months to live so the time has been much shorter than we had hoped and his decline in health really only severe in the last 3 weeks so while we are a bit shell shocked at his passing we are thankful that his suffering was relatively short. So the past week saw my Dad pass away on the Thursday, funeral preparations on the Friday, my nephews wedding on the Saturday, more preparations on the Sunday and the thanksgiving service on the Monday. This is the photo my mum wanted on the Order of Service and on the casket and all us kids (I'm one of 5) were saying "oh that's a serious one", we wanted a gorgeous smiling one like this one, but it was her favourite photo of him and ultimately it was the right one. We put the other one on the back of the Order of Service. I really wanted to do something at the service to honour my Dad but I wasn't sure how I'd go doing anything too personal but I was able to read my Aunty and Uncle's words for them in the eulogy. It was an absolutely wonderful service and I really enjoyed it, which may sound weird but Dad had chosen all the songs, in fact he'd prepared a list of 10 which we had to cut down to 5, but with the music before and after the service we managed to get 7 in from his list, he also chose the Bible Passage, 1 Peter 1 v 3-9, and everyone who spoke had a great deal of meaning in his life. In fact there was nothing meaningless in the service and everything was filled with hope. Even the title of this post which comes from the minister our family had for 22 years. He said "there'll be tears, tears of love and let them flow. They are the price we pay for love" ... the love we had for Dad. It helped to hear it this way as while we grieve it is not a hopeless grief, our grief is because of love and that love will endure and be restored in an even greater way in the future. My Dad was such a wonderful man, very loyal, dedicated, devoted and humble. When I see snippets on the news today about Michael Jackson's service it is such a stark contrast to my Dad's and I'm so proud of him. At Dad's funeral there was a lot said about him and things he'd done over his 79 years, which was a lot - we had trouble getting the eulogy under 20 minutes! but it was about more than Dad. And Dad's life was like that, it was always about more than him, his life reflected his love and service of Jesus Christ. He trusted in nothing he had done, his trust alone was in Jesus. Something he said even in his last days when he was told he'd worked really hard and deserved to rest he said "but it's not what I have done, it's what's been done for me". I'm going to miss him a lot.