Yesterday my friend, colleague and quilting coach Kathie Joblin, together with her family celebrated the life of her late husband, Fred Joblin who passed away on September 2. It was an extraordinary affair preceded the day before with a bittersweet launch of a CD he had collaborated on using much of his music and lyrics together with his friend John Wesley Oldham. The launch of “Spirit Songs …beyond the dogmas that divide” – was a concert performance of family and friends and members of various groups Fred had been involved with over the years. His son Ted on guitar and daughter-in-law Sarah on violin were featured in many of pieces. Some of the songs were developed by Fred as long as 30 years ago and one or two in the last few weeks of his life. The house (Orillia’sSt. Paul’s United) was packed with nearly 400 guests and judging by the applause certainly a hit.
The memorial held the very next morning was truly a celebration of life, incorporating one of Fred’s last wishes to put the “fun” back into funeral. More of his own music was played, favorite passages and poems shared, and the usual sermons dropped. He certainly lived his passions. The service ended with a performance – also at Fred’s request, of a juggling routine by his son (an amazing professional juggler) that seemed to symbolize a multifaceted life juggled with everything in balance. At the end of the day I felt very connected with a loving and appreciative family and a deeper appreciation for Fred and his journey.
Among the many conversations overheard and shared I was struck with how those he touched were inspired to consider their own legacy, their contribution to the world or how they might be remembered. I think all of us have a book to be written, a song to be sung, a cause worthy of our energy, or a quilt to be made. My thanks to Fred for creating such a tangible reminder and inspiration for me to just get to it – before it is too late.
My love and blessings to my friend Kathie and family – thank you for sharing Fred’s legacy with all of us.
With love and light,
UPDATE: Here is the Lives Lived column piece on Fred by Kathie’s brother Ken Stephen published in the Nov 4th Globe and Mail
PS – What do you need to complete in your life before it is too late