Sunday, March 03 2024

Ted Klironomos Eulogy

In the heart of any Orthodox Christian it is hard to ignore the significant dates that accompanied the last moments of Ted Klironomos life on the earth. He was called by the Lord on the day of St. George’s feast, around the time of the Divine Liturgy. This happened to be the week after Pascha known as the “Bright Week” or the “Week of Renewal”.

Can these dates and times be only a mere coincidence? Around the time that the St. Demetrios church was holding the Divine Liturgy celebration to honor a saint who considered giving his life up for the sake of Christ; and enduring the pain of so many inhuman tortures nothing less than a divine privilege and an honor bestowed upon him from the heavens.

Can it be a mere coincidence that Ted was summoned up by God while we were still celebrating the feast of the resurrection of Christ? The entire “Bright Week” is counted in the liturgical life of the Church as one day. It is called the “Eighth Day”. It is the new and additional day that God has promised to create through his salvation. An entire week is set up for the Christians to live and enjoy to its fullest without any interruption the blessings and the gifts of the “Resurrection”.

The answer to the questions whether all these dates were mere coincidence or meaningful messages from God can be found only in the heart of each observer. For me personally, it is very hard to disregard these profound messages without contemplating them deeply in my heart and without cherishing them for a long time to come.

The last time I saw Ted was on Sunday of Pascha. It made an impression on me as we parted that the image of his face remained printed in my memory up to this moment. As a matter of fact, this is the only image that remained from him in my mind.

But at the time; I did not dwell on it very long, and I did not think of it as an important detail even though that image was persistent. It was as if his entire face was glowing, and his smile was the largest I have ever seen on his face.

Only couple of days later when I heard the news about his passing, it was that moment when everything came together as if it were one piece of colored mosaic and it started to make sense in my heart. Then I paid enough attention and was able to realize the awesome revelation that was unfolding around us and that all of these events were one chain of related messages pre-announcing the end of Ted journey upon the earth, and the start of his heavenly journey.

I walked away from this experience carrying many valuable lessons engraved in my heart. The first important lesson has to do with our distraction. Every day we become more and more distracted, and sadly our distraction causes us constantly to miss out on many valuable and awesome messages that come from God to us for our benefit.

Now as we put together all the pieces, the talks, and the events that were related by the different people that surrounded Ted; we can easily discover the many forewarning that preceded his passing away. In reality Ted’s passing away was not completely a surprise event as it was being preannounced in so many gentle ways and whisper messages. But we all missed out on picking up on these signs due to our busyness and distractions.

The other most and equally important lesson has to do with the truthfulness of the words spoken by Jesus Christ about vigilance; “Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming” (Matthew 24:42)

Ted through his silence when he lived and through his example when he died spoke many profound and important lessons, more than what words can say or express.

God assigns tasks to all people to do in life for their benefit and for the benefit of others. He gave Ted the assignment of teaching through his silence. I have never heard Ted saying anything negative about anybody. He loved his family and grandchildren and was in their life a great supporting pillar without boasting about it, or complaining about the weight of this huge responsibility.

Ted, lost a child to death, but never once during the six years I had known him heard him utter one complaint about it, even though his eyes revealed his inner pain and sadness. His endurance and patience in silence spoke many volumes.

Ted or “Theodoros” as his full name is, which means “God’s Gift” was shown by God to be a gift to the community of St. Demetrios through his silent endurance during his life, and through the example of his “Bird-Like” take off through his death.

All of us are invited to contemplate in our hearts the meanings and the lessons from this experience. We are encouraged to shake off our distractions so that the whispering yet awesome messages of God can be heard and not get lost in the midst of the loud daily noise.

This time of sadness is a great opportunity to discover the power of the healing grace of God through his resurrection that has been invested in the Church of God which “He obtained with the blood of his own Son.”(Acts 20:28).

I want to encourage Teah and Angelo not to be overcome by the sadness of not having their pappou with them anymore. Rather to consider how blessed they were in having him around all this time, and having enjoyed his love and care all these years. Many young people of their age have never enjoyed the blessing of even a fraction of the same quantity or quality of such a rich relationship.

You still have the opportunity to enjoy your yiayia presence and appreciate with even more depth and cherish your parents.

And to everyone else I want to say; enjoy every moment of your life and make the most of it in a pleasing way to God through giving your full attention to the people around you. Every moment can be the last moment to be with someone or to see somebody. Every moment is an awesome opportunity to appreciate the people around us. All the people around us in one way or the other are God’s gifts to us. Reconcile with everyone and move on with life without holding any grudges. There is no benefit whatsoever that comes from being upset with anybody. “because God is love” 1 John 4:8