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Friday, March 25, 2011

In Memorium: Eberhard Hahn (1939 - 2011) Rostock - Toronto

Each one of us is born into a time and a country.
And its history – light or heavy – is a weight on our shoulders.
Think about it. Eberhard was born at the beginning of 1939.
About seven months later, we were in an unnecessary and finally brutal war.
Chaos, destruction, and dislocation followed.
When both of his parents died – one after the other — having first, however, left the German Democratic Republic for the Federal Republic, Eberhard aged 22 and his younger brother came to Canada. They exchanged the pain of a fractured life, you might say, for an adventure.
Though without means, he brought something with him. Two things really – or two skills perhaps. The first was caring. – He learned it the hard way while looking after his much older father – and then extending that care, as tender as it was practical, to his brother and the family that sits among you.

The second skill was a technical one – but it was more than that. It was a gift – a creative gift – to build, to solve problems, to innovate and enhance, to repair and explain – and above all to make something work, so that brain, hands, tools, and skills made whole what was broken and real what was theoretical. He turned these skills into a way of life. He used them both to support and to play. Perhaps play out a childhood that he never had, while yet raising, supporting, and encouraging his wife and children.
Because he was color blind, he could not realize his dream of becoming a pilot. – And yet, you might say, he hung onto flying – if only by “remote control” – all of his life.
RC flying and gliding became his hobby. He remained loyal to it and his family – and friends – until the end. Until, quite literally Wednesday, March 16, when he died.
To my mind, caring and making things for and with others – is a rare gift – almost ethereal – and yet as real as a coffee table, or a model airplane, or a child’s science project, or a car, or a machine.
Eberhard! We – your family and friends – know that you have escaped our “remote control.” – We know that you are flying outside of this world to a landscape beyond all distance. – We accept your parting with pain, and bid you “auf wiedersehen.” – Karla.

Last Day

He cannot stay in bed and rest.
Knows medics come to resuscitate.
His soul left quietly knowing best.
Ending his agonizing fate.

Chagall’s Crucifixion hung over his bed.
Yet he did not believe in the church, he said.
Did he harbor secretly a faith in Christ?
Was that the spirit was that his Geist?

Whatever it was whether faith or frown.
He bore the cancer cross.
And though his sickness nailed him down,
His life was not a loss.