eulogy i wrote for my father - Joseph Rocco Agoglia

Shortly after my father passed away, I remember feeling confused and quite numb. Inside, I felt alone especially after watching someone move from life to death, an experience I'll never forget. After doing everything I knew possible to get the best of care for my father, I still like a failure to the man who was always there for me, and now, when my father desperately needed me the most, I somehow let him down. Although I'm aware his illness was out of my control, I couldn't help but feel that sense of guilt and probably shame with my family. After taking small breaks for some needed rest, I found myself whispering to myself as I hurried back to the hospital, "Dad, I'm here for you. We're going to get through this together." Sadly, six weeks later (not six months), he was gone from our presence. An experience like that certainly takes its toll on one's self-esteem. If that wasn't traumatic enough, after someone passes, you move into this strange phrase, one of intense planning - for the funeral, the wake, and then the burial. I knew my family would expect me to write and deliver my father's eulogy, strangely something I both welcomed and, yet, still felt quite inadequate.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful. 1 Timothy 1:12 (I believe my father heard the words, "faithful son" when he arrived and met our Lord. - Justin)

The night after he passed, I laid in my bed wondering where would I begin to write this eulogy. Would I be able to pen this in such a way that it encompassed the entirety of my father's life? For three days in between the funeral viewings, I would get away and simply reflect on memories, experiences I had of my fathers, plus stories that were passed on to me. Then I began to write. Emotionally I was spent but there was probably some form of redemption within this process. He was no longer with us, but I wanted to honor my father in a way that was honest and fair. After many drafts, I finished the eulogy. It's impossible to think that I captured everything about my dad, especially under those circumstances, but I believe it gives you a window into his heart and a glimpse into his life.

Below you will find the entire eulogy as it was read at the memorial service given on July 20, 2003 at Smithtown Gospel Tabernacle. I remember that evening like it was yesterday. It was raining quite heavy and this was accompanied by thunder and lightening. Despite the inclement weather, we estimated that about a thousand individuals attended the service which really was a testimony to the many lives my father touched. We realize others would have been in attendance if the weather was better but we're grateful to everyone who responded that day.

eulogy I wrote for my grandfather - Joseph Vincent Agoglia

I recently came across the eulogy I wrote for my grandfather, my dad's father. Ironically, he passed away April 10, 2001, the same day as my father's birthday and two years before my dad died. That day was so bittersweet. I watched my grandfather slowly pass from this life into eternity with his family close by his side.

Shortly after my grandfather died, I did something spontaneously: as we watched him rest peacefully, I placed my arm around my father's shoulders. I wanted to, in some way - even as awkward as it felt at the time - to share how much I loved my dad and how hard it must have been for him to see his own father pass on. The minute my arm embraced him, we immediately broke down in tears, as if a dam of pent-up emotions broke lose. It was that common sense of connection and love which didn't need any explanation. Here I was standing in the same room of three generations - my grandfather, my father, and me. But now, my father and I were the only two left. For some strange reason, that thought made me recognize that my dad could be the next person to pass on in our family. Little did I know, that my concern would become a reality, just two years later.

I was honored that my father asked me to write my grandfather's eulogy and share it on behalf of our family. Because of the unique bond my father had with his dad, I've decided to include my grandfather's eulogy on this site.