The Words of Won Pil Kim

Eulogy for my father, Won Pil Kim

Jin Goon Kim
April 7, 2010
Won Pil Kim's son

Rev. Won Pil Kim ascended on April 7 in Tokyo, at the age of eighty-one. He was not yet eighteen when his aunt introduced him to the twenty-six-year-old Sun Myung Moon, in Pyongyang. Won Pil Kim spent the next sixteen years by Father's side, accompanying him through the trials of those early days. Thereafter, Father assigned him to such posts as chief accountant for the church in Korea (1962-68) first president of Il Hwa Co. (1970-77) leader of the IOWC and the home church providence in the US and Europe (1978-1985) Europe continental director (1986-1991) and chairman of the Japanese movement (1991-94).

Won Pil Kim is remembered for his compassionate and embracing character, and for his steadfast faith and love for God and True Parents. This eulogy was delivered by his only son.

Thank you for sharing this occasion with us, for offering your congratulations with us. I would like to offer my gratitude to True Father, who sixty-four years ago in Pyongyang chose an ordinary young man, my father, and enabled him to realize a great and unlimited dream on the world stage. Please pass my words of appreciation to Father.

I am also truly grateful to all the members who have shared the path of suffering, joy, and hardships for sixty-four years with him. If I shed tears today, they are not tears of sadness, but tears of joy and heartfelt appreciation. The physical body is meant be cast off to one day, and we are all meant to return to heaven some day. The important thing is how we return there, because if we are lacking in many ways when we go or there is much unresolved bitterness, that would indeed be something to grieve about. However, I firmly believe that though my father may have been wanting in one way or another, he lived his whole life in earnest and did everything that he could to the end of his days for the will of God, whom he believed in, so this day is a day of blessing and joy.

During the ten years that he was in the hospital, my father passed through several near-death crises. At one time he said that his family members tended not to live long, and actually he began to suffer from diabetes early on. When my mother passed away ten years ago, my father had also been near death at that time, and the shock of her death affected him severely as well.

One organ after another in my father's physical body broke down during the ten years and his diabetes got worse, and then he had to undergo several surgeries and life-and-death crises, yet he never gave up once. That was because he desired to do everything until the end. But this time, his liver, kidney, blood pressure, heart, lungs and every other... organ broke down at the same time, so neither the hospital nor his force of will could continue to maintain his physical body.

Upon hearing news of his decline, my family visited Japan and stayed to watch over my father for two weeks. I can say that he did not give up until the end. But because there was no hope, I wanted to help him prepare for passing on to the spiritual world so I spoke to him. At the time he was unconscious and unable to talk. I told him, "Father! Your body is worn-out. You have worked so hard, following the will for eighty years." My father must have regained consciousness because when I said that he said, "Yes, yes."

There was something I wanted to add. "Father! You have lived a wonderful life. Yours is a great life. You have helped many people." My father nodded his head and said, "Yes, yes." When I told him, "You are a truly happy person," he said, "Yes, I am happy!" So I told him, "I think the time has come for you to go to God," and he nodded his head at that, but then he said suddenly, "But I have to get up" and put all his efforts into doing so and clenched his fists.

Until the very end he tried to revive his physical body, opening his eyes wide a few times and clenching his fists, but in the end his lungs were filled with water and his kidneys could not function at all, so he passed away.

He looked peaceful when he passed away. When I looked at his face, I saw that he had left with the kind smile he usually had on his face, and that was the last image of him that we committed to our memory as he passed away.

As the time approached for him to pass away, we felt that it would be a life-long sorrow for us if he were not able to see his family beforehand. The five of us, my sisters and I, are spread out around the world, so we hadn't been able to get together for twenty years. This time we were all together, all the children and even the grandchildren. We were there at the moment of his passing, and in his final moments, he looked at his first- born son and firstborn daughter holding his right and left hands respectively Thus, he showed consideration for us until the end, for which I am truly grateful to him.

My father was very strict with me when I was young. He scared me, and he did everything according to the Principle. He did not once remember my birthday, and I don't remember ever receiving a present from him. He had never taken me to a hospital for a checkup and had only asked about my studies once or twice, if that. From a secular point of view, I wondered how he could be such an indifferent father, but every time I met him he said the same thing to me over and over again, "You are too rational. You need to be more virtuous. You have to live for others. You have to be suffer setbacks in life. You need to do greater deeds and sacrifice yourself. You need to do your best until the end."

Not once did my father wake me up on Sunday morning to attend Pledge Service. Not once did he give me a logical Divine Principle lecture. Yet, every time I saw him he told me about righteous ways of living life. Since he had led a pure and humble life himself, he asked me to do the same. He told me, "The only thing I can give you are teachings about life. Because I am a public man, I can assist you a little in educating you and helping you with your life, but you need to be independent financially, doing all you can, but not stealing." He gave me such expressions from the realm of the heart.

As I grew up, I came to realize, little by little, how great had been these gifts given me by my father. I realized that I can live in the world as a part of society and manage a prominent company in China, with twenty thousand employees, thanks to the spiritual education, rather than external help, that he had given me back then.

So I habitually tell my employees that if they want to make a great company, they need to sacrifice themselves for the greater good, that a great company needs to make contributions to society, that we need to nurture new talent for the greater development of society, that we need to do our best until the end, that we need to pursue perfection eternally, that we need to set an example for others, that those at the top should take the lead in being honest, and that we should be.

The life guidance my father gave me from an early age has become the strongest driving force behind me. Through it, I was able to make flowers bloom on a small foundation. So I am grateful to my father, and would like to ask for forgiveness once again for not understanding the great teachings and gifts he had given me. If there is a way to pay him back, I think it would be for my family and my descendants to uphold his teachings and become even greater stars of heaven than my father, and to dedicate our lives to God and humanity.

My father was a simple and humble person, knowing neither pretense nor falsity, and he transcended religion and in awareness. In his mind, he lived in a world much different from the world of ordinary people, so that I believe he might have become a Buddhist monk if he had not joined our church.

When he passed away, his last wish, which he emphasized several times was, "When I go, I want to be interred with your mother, and I don't need anything else except for you to write 'Won Pil's wife Dal Ok, and Dal Ok's husband Won Pil.' I don't need a tombstone or my life history or my surname. The only things I take with me are the love of God and my beloved wife. So bury me in silence like the wind." This was his dying wish.

The only regrets my father might have had when he passed away would be that at the last moment, he did not get to say farewell in person to True Parents, whom he had loved and served his whole life, and to the members who had shared joy, anger, sorrow and pleasure with him amidst all their suffering. 

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