Monday, 22 September 2014

His Music Lives On
A few days ago a well-loved man in our community passed away.

Eddy Arsenault was best known for his joyful attitude and excellent fiddle playing skills. I did not know him well, though he is a distant cousin, but I was affected by his life nonetheless.

Whenever I heard his name mentioned, saw a photo or an artist's rendering of him, I felt uplifted somehow.

Eddy never seemed to be without his fiddle and his brother Amand, who accompanied him on the guitar. He also passed along his joy of life and music to his children, who carry on their father's legacy both locally and abroad.

The church parking lot was brimming at the funeral today with vehicles spilling up and down both sides of the road. A row of violinists lined the back of the church, along with a smattering of accordion players. More violins and acoustic guitars, on the right side of the church, faced a piano and a full, beautiful choir. The music was sweet and melancholy as family and friends filled the pews. If not for the many standing musicians, there would have been no place to sit.

The service was mostly in French, so I didn't understand the words, but there was no mistaking the passion of the tributes given to this lovely man who will be missed so much.

Following the service, as the family started their procession down the aisle, along with the casket, a lone fiddler started to play a lively tune. A few bars in, a few more bows joined in; then the guitars, the accordions and the rest of the fiddles. Our hearts could not help but be lifted any more than our feet could resist their tapping. It was a fitting farewell and, as my husband declared, "It was like an Acadien Heaven."

I hope you will enjoy this audio clip of Eddy Arsenault's musical farewell. (In the photo are Amand on the guitar, daughter Marie on the piano and Eddy on the fiddle.)


Jeanette said...

What a lovely farewell Teresa. Beautiful music.

Penny said...

Wonderful tribute to your cousin, Teresa! I am sure he enjoyed the sendoff. :^)
Hugs, Penny