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Goodbye Tribute to Hugh

The past couple of weeks have been very rough for Anne. She is the eldest of six and now the youngest one, Hugh, is gone - completely gone.


Hugh was cremated. His ashes were in a beautiful box he made for my father's ashes. A revolving slide show represented the many aspects of his life and what we called his "GQ portrait" (below) was on display.


This is the poem that Anne wrote and read at his service ...

"Oh, Hugh ~ How can it be true?

We will have to get along without you.

You who could fix just about anything, except a broken heart.


"From the day you were born, the last of the six

You would not be told just what you could do

You would do it your own way, just as you please

And that made for trouble

which always brought someone, on the double!


"As your big sister, when not at school,

I was expected to take you, wherever I went

A teenage girl with a preschooler in tow

Attracts lots of attention

Not always the kind you would want!


"Afternoons we would go to the Centennial Pool

Where you made it your business to look up from under the doors

at the mostly naked ladies in each change room stall

“Get out of here!” the ladies would shriek

At a cute little boy just having a peek!


"There was one afternoon you were lucky to survive

bouncing on the high board

in saggy red trunks

A young man was about to take a dive

You pointed your finger as you shouted out

“Hey everyone look, it’s Big Dick!”


"Then you ran into the ladies' change room

As fast as your little legs would go

And a good thing too

He looked mad enough to strangle you!


"Oh, then there was that time when you

along with our brother Paul

Spotted that nice boy George Hancey

approaching the door

You saved up your saliva and from the window above,

The two of you spat on his nicely coiffed hair!


"When I caught you smoking out behind the back shed

I knew our Dad would have your head

I stepped in to protect you, doling out discipline instead

“No bicycle for a week!” I said

When our Dad asked why you were running to school

“Oh, I am training for track,” you said, ever so cool


"When I left home, in seventy-three

You often spent weekends visiting me

My boyfriend at that time

was a nice man named Rob

He taught you to play chess

And you got to be really good

“Why are you letting him win every time?” I asked

“I’m not!” declared Rob.

And you were just nine!


"Our mother described you as “a big feelin’ little feller”

Sounds like a quote – maybe from old yeller

When you were happy you danced

You loved with all your heart

You cried when you hurt

You were more sensitive than the rest of us all put together!


"You skated like a pro and lived to play hockey

That is until old Grampa Miner showed you how to catch fish!

From that moment on, alone or with friends

In summer and winter, you were a fish jockey!


"We’ll skip over the troubles of your teenagerhood

Talking about that period won‘t do any good


"Let’s go right to your most talented years

When you could do magic working with wood

Power tools were your friends most of the time

But when you were tired, they could get out of control


"So many people right here today

Have sat hours with you

in the Emergency room

Until bones could be set, fingers attached

and wounds closed with stitches


"I remember the time when I rushed over to Sunnybrook

They brought you in from the rescue helicopter

Unconscious, with a car steering wheel

imprinted on your chest

And other times when I was with you all night

Hoping and praying you would be all right


"Over the years you did plenty of work for us

In very old houses

It took lots of patience and ingenuity

Nothing was straight,

Not the walls, not the baseboards, not window, or door frames

You could make it all work

including electric and plumbing!


"You were a cheerful sort

Welcoming everyone with a genuine smile

You put people at ease and soon had them laughing

At your various accents and wry sense of humour


"You made friends with my neighbours in Woodstock

And even had a girl in town.

You know that even this past winter,

I met someone who said,

“Oh, you must be Hugh Miner’s sister!”


"You were your own man

Told me you did as you pleased

So very independent and proud

Quick to remind us we were the only miners – MINER in the book!


"With a satisfying job

Working with John at MCC

where you were highly valued

and had a regular routine

you managed for years


"Eventually, your addictions took over

And you lost control

Over and over, you refused to have help

You lost your purpose

and your interest in life


"Now you are free.


"I will remember you fondly

My dear little brother

With your bottomless well of love

You gave the best hugs

one heart to another


"Now you have left us

And gone on ahead

I hope you find those you have missed

And even a few places

you have not yet fished


"Until we meet again,

Please remember I love YOU!"


The service was brief and uplifting. With COVID restrictions, the crowd was small but the audience was large as Hugh's friends and relations watched the live stream. We will all miss him.






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3 commentaires


This is so beautiful Anne! my heart goes out to you and your family. This poem really got to me, so many moments to be cherished. Thank you so much for sharing it.

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My heart goes out to you Anne... There is so much strength and courage in your human presence.... I feel your wisdom will get you through all of this. Big hugs and thank you for sharing your beautiful heart. love you xoxox

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Membre inconnu
30 juil. 2021

Beautiful perspective......you've taught me so much Anne about so many things. 🌹

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