Euel Eugene “Gene” McElhaney
January 8, 1941 – Dec 26, 2014
My dad died the day after Christmas 2014. He was one of the best men I have ever known.
A portrait of my father
Last week, without much forethought, I started a portrait of my dad. Somehow, it seems very appropriate to honor him in this way.
There were times while working on this painting that I felt especially sad and present with a deep sense of loss.
Over New Years my family and I were in California for the funeral and to be with family.
At the funeral I gave a eulogy, which, as I said, “was easy and natural for me to honor my dad in this way because I’ve been bragging about him for my whole life.”
My dad was a man of integrity and a man of faith. He and my mom were married for 53 years. He adored my mom and was obviously affectionate with her. I am blessed to have parents that cared so much for one another, and that cared so much me and my sisters.
People grieve in different ways
I miss my dad. A lot. But I don’t have any regrets. He loved me, and respected me as a man. He was proud of me and he didn’t withhold his love. I loved him, and he knew it.
Even so, I never really broke down and cried during my stay in California. Maybe I was being strong for my mom. Maybe I was keeping myself busy with making arrangements.
I know that people grieve in different ways.
I hope to finish this portrait soon.
After it’s done I’ll include a picture of the finished portrait in a subsequent post.
I guess this is a way of grieving. This is my way of saying ‘goodbye.’