Today I’ll be attending my Dad’s funeral with my family. He died 2 weeks ago in Willow Wood Hospice after losing his battle with lung cancer. We’ll always be eternally grateful for their love and care in those last few days. My Dad was the sweetest most gentle giant, we’ll miss him forever. This is the eulogy I will be reading.

Dad always told jokes. Some of his best would take an age to tell, a complex dance, layer by layer until you got to the punchline. And the groans. Sometimes followed by laughs. Hamster Jam anyone?

He’d not like us to spend this gathering all morbid and sad, no no, he’d want us to remember him as the smiling, twinkle eyed character he was, always ready with a pun.

I was made up the other week when I got my son’s dentist appointment. It was two thirty (think about it, tooth hurty) and I giggled about that every time I said it. Much too said son’s consternation. But that was one of Dad’s most used jokes.

Also, I can never consume shepherds pie without saying:

“Shepherd’s pie with real shepherds, we were going to have cottage pie but the council condemned it.”

My life is filled with humour passed down to me from Dad. I’m sure everyone who spent any time with him could tell you more of his jokes. It’s part of his legacy to us all.

And then there’s the gifts. He’s had a long history of not being able to throw anything away. So he would often throw things our way instead. Pencils, typewriters, old records, an ancient first aid kit and once when I was little an old teddy, I think it was a cat, that he found, wet, muddy and bedraggled. He washed it, mended it and gave it to me and my sister.

He was kind like that. Wanted to look after everyone, to feed you up, keep you warm and ply you with alcohol. On my wedding day he got me a quadruple rum and coke when I asked for a single. But then the bare minimum wasn’t ever enough for him. He gave abundantly to everyone he loved.

And these are the lessons we can all learn from Len,

Never take life too seriously, after all the only certainties in life are death and taxes!

Spread joy with a joke, smile easy and often.

Give generously, care greatly and love abundantly.

Just like he always did.