A Celebration of the Life of

Words from the Memorial Service at the
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ottawa,
Ottawa, Sunday, January 14, 2018

Words from Fred Cappuccino
Click image to view the video

I want to say a few words about Oblivion, which is the condition of being entirely forgotten.


Years ago Thornton Wilder wrote a book which won a Pulitzer Prize. It was titled, The Bridge of San Luis Rey. This was a rope bridge over a deep chasm. There were five people walking on the bridge when the rope gave way and the five people fell to their death. One of the five was a 12-year-old girl who had no family and lived in the convent. The Mother Superior knew this child, and was thinking that no one else knew the child that well. And when the Mother Superior died, all memory of this child would be gone. The Mother Superior agonized over this. She knew the child as a caring, loving individual who spent her entire young life helping others. How tragic that the memory of this child would be gone forever.


The Mother Superior, after much prayer and contemplation finally came up with a comforting realization: that the love itself flows from one person to the next, and to the next, and to the next. Even after memory fades, more importantly, the deeds of love will continue down through the years.


Mahatma Gandhi would sometimes speak to crowds of 100,000 people or more. Usually not all of them could hear him, even with the creaky loudspeakers of the day. But it didn't matter that they couldn't hear him. They were there for Darshan. Darshan means to be in the blessed presence of a holy person. That was my feeling about both Roy, and his late wife, Sylvia. It didn't matter what they said. I was there for the blessing of their presence.