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Heart's ease - an infusion was said to help mend a broken heart

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Remembrance: 22.02.12

A few months ago I wrote about the fifth anniversary of my mother's death. After more than fifty years of strong and steadfast love, my distraught father only managed to outlast her by three months and eleven days, dying - very much of a broken heart - five years ago today. He had been rushed into hospital on Ash Wednesday, dying the following morning, so it's poignant that today is Ash Wednesday - though five years ago that feast, and indeed much of Lent, somewhat passed me by.

My father was an electrician, so would be chuffed to know that today was HR Hertz's birthday. A practical, tenacious man, he'd also surely approve of the fact that in order to produce this post I've had to circumnavigate various problems with Blogger, at one point resorting to the "old" mode, which would have appealed to his conservative streak!

Luciano finished his formal education at fourteen, going on to technical school, but he had a lifelong fascination with reading and learning, especially where science, astronomy, history and the natural world were involved. As a teenager in Piemonte he climbed mountains and gazed in wonder at heaven and earth spread before him. As a father in London he took me to museums; these trips, I'm sure, gave him as much enjoyment and education as me, especially when there were interactive exhibits to play with!

In the early 1970s our parish started singing the hymn How great thou art, and my father declared it his favourite, and one he would want at his funeral. But that was not to be. Twenty years later he and my mother retired to his village in Italy, where they both died, and had completely Italian funerals, with only a few English-speakers present - not enough to form any sort of choir, singing a foreign hymn. Even if I'd been able to rustle up a CD, it would not have been appropriate; Palazzesi like their funerals to be ordinary, without "gimmicks" like poems and piped songs. So I gave him the nearest equivalent, psalm 8: it too speaks of wonder and awe at God's creation, and begins and ends with O Lord our God, how great is your name through all the earth. I explained my choice to the parish priest, and this was somehow woven into the homily.

But now, five years on, with Youtube at my fingertips, I can give him his favourite hymn! Here it is, with some lovely pictures and lyrics, so you can sing along... or just get quietly moved and weepy, like me...

7 comments:

  1. Just beautiful, Silvana... this touches me deeply--the love you express for your father and the care you took and take to honor him. Thank you for posting it, and the hymn. Many funerals I went to during my time in Louisiana included it and it never failed to move me...

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  2. Thank you Silvana, this blog is beautiful and this praise song is one of my favourites! Katie. x

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  3. What a beautiful post about your Dad. He looks so proud of you in that picture. xx

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  4. Thank you Silvana, What a beautiful memorial. This was the favorite hymn of one of my closest friends who died and it was sung at her funeral 11 years ago.
    Cape Cod Cathy

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  5. Silvana - truly beautiful. Didn't get round to seeing it last night as I was out. Hard to believe that Zina & Luciano have been gone so long. Thank you for reminding us of the special people that they were and will always be, in our hearts.

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  6. Truly beautiful Silvana. Didn't read it until this evening as I was out last night. What a lovely tribute. Hard to believe that Zina and Luciano have been gone so long. Thanks for sharing the memories with us. Linda.xx

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  7. What a beautiful testament to your father! Thank you for sharing.

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