Other Voices: Greg Elliott story spurs similar memories of Dad | TheUnion.com

Other Voices: Greg Elliott story spurs similar memories of Dad

The article entitled “How blessed we were” in the June 21 paper touched my heart. I never had the honor of meeting Greg Elliott, the man the article was written about. However, I recently lost my dad, Bill Harrison, to heart failure and after reading about Greg, I think they could have been brothers.

My Dad also had a great love for family and fishing and surprisingly, he was also buried in a homemade pine casket at his request. Just like Greg, Dad “welcomed everyone with a big smile,” “was a good man who blessed us in so many ways,” “was a compassionate person with a passion for life” and “if (Dad) teased you, you knew you were loved.”

We have a saying at my church, “It is best to slide into Heaven like sliding into home saying ‘Wow, what a ride!'” I know this is what Dad did. He never met a challenge he wouldn’t try. He did not sit by and watch others live their lives. He got right in there and gave everything his 100 percent, having a blast doing whatever he was attempting at the time.

He never met a stranger and would literally give you the shirt right off his back.

Some may think it is strange to make a casket for your loved one.

To be honest, I thought the request was odd back when it was first discussed, and quite frankly, we didn’t really know what we were doing.

But, in hindsight, I am so glad we did it. I know it is what Dad wanted and it was very therapeutic and comforting, knowing my very hand (along with my brother, Dan’s, and my husband, Rich’s) built Dad’s final resting place.

Since we are far from professional casket makers, it wasn’t perfect, but we were not striving for perfection. We were honoring Dad’s final request; making the casket out of love and devotion for him.

Dad is missed greatly by many. However, even though he passed away fairly young at 63, he lived a full life, with many great experiences. I was very blessed to have him on this Earth, as my father, for the time I did. I take great comfort in the knowledge that Dad is in Heaven with his Lord, no longer suffering from ill health as he did for a number of years.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Elliott family in their time of sorrow. I share in your grief.

I would like to think that my Dad and Greg could have the opportunity to meet up in Heaven and swap stories. I am sure Dad could tell him some whoppers.

God bless.

Ann Drais lives in Auburn.

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