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My Dad

Updated: Mar 21, 2021

My Dad passed away on January 10, 2021, a little more than 6 months after my Mom. He loved singing, laughing, talking, trees, flowers, nature, people; he had sparkling eyes that twinkled and shone.

Once we were walking along the Seine when we came upon a class of students. He caught their attention - maybe it was his smile, or his colorful jacket, or that twinkle in his eye. Whatever it was, they started talking and joking together, laughing under the sunny sky on that crisp, cold day. As we continued on our walk he stopped for a minute and said, “I love people!” It was just as simple as that.

Dad with students near the Seine in Paris.

In these weeks and months, as I try to feel out what exactly it is that has happened, I sometimes think to myself, in error, my Dad is not a person who can die. Phil Bourque is not a person who can be dead. Such are the mysteries of grief.

Among the verses underlined in his Bible were Mark 12:28-34, where Jesus tells a scribe that the most important commandments are to love your God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself. Seeing the scribe understands this wisdom, Jesus tells him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God."

Dad loved music, and would have loved Chorus Angelicus, a group of singers of all ages we contacted in his memory. Listening to and watching their impressive virtual performance of Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon at a sad moment brought joy to my heart.


Young at heart! (start at :29)

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