Victor Hugo wrote: “Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.”
Ed French who experienced and knew first-hand the courage required for the great sorrows of life, and exhibited infinite patience for all the small sorrows in life, accomplished all the daily tasks of his life; drew his last breath and went to sleep in peace knowing God is and will always be awake.
Ed French’s courage to face the challenges of life also allowed Ed to recognize, embrace and celebrate the beauty, grandeur, majesty and transcendence in the spirituality of the ordinary: the day to day, the simple things. Ed’s life and art elevated the ordinary into the extraordinary.
The South African writer Alan Paton states: “Francis of Assisi taught me that there is a wound in the Creation and that the greatest use we could make of our lives was to ask to be made a healer of it.”
There is a deep wound in creation and in our lives as we come together in grief, acknowledging our human loss. The Pike National Historical Trail Association cannot, in any amount of words, express its indebtedness to Ed’s passion, commitment, dedication, energy and enthusiasm. His talent and love for life created the greatest use for anyone’s life: to become, through example, a healer of the wound in the Creation.
We say farewell to a man who inhaled the breath of life from God and exhaled into all he directly or indirectly came into contact with, the love, wonder, kindness, grace, and humility that was Ed’s living soul.