The Eulogy

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Monday, November 07, 2022
By Emy Fernandez, MBA, Life Coach

My daughters prepared the funeral mass for my ex-husband who passed away two months ago.  As a gift for my 3 kids and my stepdaughter, I offered to do the eulogy.  We all used the mass to put closure in our own way, to a life lived, to a life in the past.

I thought I would share the eulogy during this month of gratefulness and of forgiveness.

flowers in a garden

Good morning, my family and friends,

When Caro called to tell me, Santos had just passed away, I paused and stopped what I was doing.  Closed my eyes and said a little prayer for him.  And, I felt something in my chest I’ve never felt before.

I felt a closure.  A closure to a full life I lived as a young wife and mother.

A closure to a life of many lessons.

A closure to a previous life which has left me now with a fuller and richer one.

Santos left me a legacy.

He left me 3 kids: Carolina, Claudia and Nicolas
He left me 3 grandkids: Jaden, James and Joseph
He left me a beautiful stepdaughter and stepgrandson: Jenny and Gabriel
And, a beautiful daughter-in-law: Cristina

As if that were not enough,

He also left me his family.

A family that warmly welcomed me as a young bride, and continued welcoming me after our divorce.

2 sisters – Alina and Haydee
2 brothers – Enidio and Luis
And, many cousins, nieces and nephews – too many to mention – but you know who you are.

I was laughing as I was thinking back to our time together – and apart.

I know many of you remember when Santos wanted to make a point and would call me by my full name “Emilia Maria” and it was always, always followed by a couple of exclamation points.

All who knew Santos knew he was a human GPS – before GPS was a thing.  And anyone who knows me – knows I don’t know east from west – or north from south – when I’m walking off an elevator.

I would always have to stop and call him – from a pay phone – to get directions because I was always lost.

Even after we were divorced, I would still call him.  Fortunately, eventually the cell phones (without GPS) were becoming a thing and it was much easier to call him.  Easier for me – not so much for him…

I could always feel him cautiously picking up the phone when I called after we were divorced – thinking it was an “ex-wife” thing I was calling him about – and he would answer – Si Emilia Maria!!  To his credit he always, always answered…
And I would desperately say – hi, listen, I’m lost.  I need you to help me get home!

At this point, I could always sense his sigh of relief – “Oh – OK – si, si donde estas??” (yes, yes where are you?)

Lucy, Beba and I were laughing and talking the other day about him – and we were remembering how he always had a video camera on his shoulder taking videos of all the kids.

We put him in charge of taking the videos at all the birthday parties because he was the only one big enough to carry the hugh video cameras from the 80s and 90s for long periods of time.

And he was the only one tall enough to see over everyone and catch great shots of the kids.

I can go on and on with the stories.  And although at the end we couldn’t continue living together – we did have a bond that lasted the forty-one years we knew each other.

Now, he is with Anitica and Santos, his parents who he lost too early in life.  And, knowing Santos, I’m sure making up for lost time.

A very dear friend gave me a little book of poems – Daily Bouquets – which I keep on my nightstand.  In closing this chapter of our life, I thought I would read one of my favorite ones as we say our goodbyes:

After the clouds, the sunshine,
After the winter, the spring,
After the shower, the rainbow –
For life is a changeable thing.
After the night, the morning
Bidding all darkness cease,
After life’s cares and sorrows,
The comfort and sweetness of peace.