Vale Noel Burnett Hanger
16th December, 1936 – 8th August, 2012
‘Finis Vitae Sed Non Amoris’
”The end of life, but not of love.”
This is a man before us,
So let us call him by his name.
This is a son, a husband, a brother, a father, a friend,
So let him be who he is to you still.
This is a man who lived tens of thousands of days,
So let us not make the sum of his life his last minutes,
Your last meeting,
The words you did not say.
The sum of his life is much more than this.
It is the thousands of dawns,
The many sunsets,
His great loves, his laughter, his losses;
It is his beloved Jenny,
His six children,
His thoughts, his smiles,
His words, his good grace.
It is the friendship you gave him,
The company he kept,
The wide roads he travelled,
The quiet tears he wept.
Here is a man who gave everything he had
And asked for nothing in return.
Here is a man who suffered unimaginable sadness,
And exhilarating joy.
Here is a gentle man who kept on keeping on,
Who got up the day after his house burned to the ground,
Put on a borrowed suit,
Kissed his wife and kids,
And went to work again.
Here is a quiet, reflective man who,
Adapted to the mad tumble of life with six children.
Here is a man who came to the table every night.
Here is a man of great intellect,
And enduring love.
Here is a man who loved,
And who was loved.
So this is what will live on inside of you,
And us all.
Death will not deny us the man he was.
He will not be lost to rhetoric,
Will not be swallowed by sadness;
There will be no regrets,
No clamouring for time again.
He is everything that went before,
And everything that will come after.
So we will do what is befitting for a man with a life so full –
We will keep him alive in our lives,
We will know him as he was,
We will cherish him,
And we will love him forever more.