The Burrow: Unforgotten

by Julleen

Friends who have gathered to pay your last respects – welcome. We have all come to honor a man who will linger in our memories as many things.

When our children remember him, will they think of the headmaster who guided them through their formative years, will their eyes twinkle with tears at the thought of his blue eyes twinkling with merriment and mischief? Here was knowledge made living, wisdom made accessible. It is my belief they will forever be changed by the example he set, his ancient years offset by his youthful mindset, his power offset by his approachability. Will they forever remember Professor Dumbledore when they come against impossible odds, and then realize they are not impossible due to the standard he set? I think so.

And today, as we gather here, we gaze around and we notice that those who are made unapproachable by our own lack of understanding join us in our mourning. We are lying to rest a man of great integrity, whose values insisted upon the inclusion of those typically excluded. How will our magical brethren remember this man? As a man who worked for their wellbeing, and welcomed them into his school and into our world? As a wizard who stepped over our self-inflicted limits and expanded the boundaries of our understanding of them, and them of us? Will those who typically do not love us love this man? Is this atypical love a fitting tribute, since in no way was this wizard typical? I think so.

But how will Albus’s peers remember him? This is, of course, a trick question, because this was a peerless man. He outclassed every other in power, compassion, wisdom and perspective. And yet, the true magic of this man was not in his wandwork or knowledge – it was in his embracement of the worth of his fellow man, woman, centaur, giant, mermaid, what have you. As my own tribute to this man who read Muggle newspapers, I wish to quote a Muggle man whose dream mirrored Albus’s own: “I have a dream that my children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” In our world, we do not judge men by the color of their skin, but by the quality of their pedigree. But in every nation there are those who carry the dream that there will be a higher criteria, and Albus Dumbledore carried that dream well and passed it on. He gave his dream freely to our children, to us, and to those who do not share our bloodlines but share our magical world. Will our children carry this dream? Will our magical brothers and sisters? I think so.

Finally, I would like to share with you what I will remember about Albus Dumbledore–not the hero, the talented wizard, the Supreme Mugwump, or the Chief Warlock, but the man. I remember that he liked sherbet lemons and offbeat jokes. He was a good dancer and always wanted socks for Christmas, although people would insist on sending him books. This was a man that played Frisbee with the giant squid and secretly had a whole collection of Chocolate Frog Cards (although he never managed to get Ptolemy or, ironically, himself). This was a wizard with an entire world of responsibility, but who also possessed the time for a hot cup of cocoa with a friend on a bad day. Will this wizard be sorely missed? I think so.

Today we lay to rest–and this man has earned some rest, although we might have hoped it would have come in a kinder fashion–Albus Dumbledore, the greatest wizard of our time, and the greatest model for a strong conscience our world has ever known. A headmaster who will be forever associated with Hogwarts and a mentor whose voice will sound in the ringing laughter of students for all time. Today we bid farewell to the body of the wizard, but we retain a piece of him in ourselves forever. Will this man live in our hearts forever? I think so.