Vox Populi: The O'Shaughnessy Files

By William O’Shaughnessy | Go to book overview

FOR MICHAEL

This one was personal, very personal. Michael was twenty-
two.

First of all, thank you for coming.

Many of you have canceled plans; some have cut short vacations; and others have completely rearranged your schedules on this winter weekend. And we appreciate it.

You’ve come to comfort Nancy. And because you loved Michael. And he is glad you came.

I want to also thank two great priests of our Roman Catholic Church: the beloved pastor of St. Pius, who meant so much in Papa’s life and who was the first to call Mr. Curry “Lazarus” after that remarkable comeback three years ago. Father John O’Brien’s intercessions and prayers helped then, as they do now on this sad Saturday morning. We should thank also another great priest, Father Joseph Cavoto. He’s a family friend—and a longtime friend of Michael’s. He’s also a Franciscan. So to call him “great” is redundant.

I’ll be mercifully brief. I’ve done this for all kinds of people— relatives, acquaintances, friends of the station, politicians, in-laws, even some out-laws. I’ve also spoken for my brother, my mother, my father.

But never for a son.

We gather here today because we need to. We cannot bear so great a grief without sharing it.

We are comforted by embraces and tears and sighs, because our minds are not deep enough, nor our tongues clever enough, to explain the tragedy of Michael’s painful passage.

And so we struggle to reconcile that grief. At least enough to avoid plunging into anger or collapsing in despair.

I don’t have to tell you what Michael was like. You know what he was like: charming, bright, talented, loving.

-499-

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