Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson lost his father last month. Rocky Johnson passed away after a massive heart attack. Unfortunately, there was no time for The Rock to say goodbye. Closure is often delayed in such circumstances. He beautifully explained his pain and his dad’s accomplishments in a pitch perfect eulogy.
Rocky “Soul Man” Johnson
75-year-old Rocky “Soul Man” Johnson was a wrestling pioneer. He broke down color barriers and paved the way for his son to enter and dominate in the ring. His dad debuted in 1966 and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. The Rock is very aware of the fact that he was fortunate to have a great dad in and out of the ring.
Soon after Soul Man’s sudden death, the grieving son shared a video on Instagram. A young and adoring Dwayne is seen sitting in the front row as his dad is announced. The bond between the two is undeniable.
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I love you. You broke color barriers, became a ring legend and trail blazed your way thru this world. I was the boy sitting in the seats, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar. The boy you raised to always be proud of our cultures and proud of who and what I am. The boy you raised with the toughest of love. The intense work. The hard hand. The adoring boy who wanted to know only your best qualities. Who then grew to become a man realizing you had other deeply complicated sides that needed to be held and understood. Son to father. Man to man. That’s when my adoration turned to respect. And my empathy turned to gratitude. Grateful that you gave me life. Grateful you gave me life’s invaluable lessons. Dad, I wish I had one more shot to tell you, I love you, before you crossed over to the other side. But you were ripped away from me so fast without warning. Gone in an instant and no coming back. Im in pain. But we both know it’s just pain and it’ll pass. Now I’ll carry your mana and work ethic with me, as it’s time to move on because I have my family to feed and work to accomplish. Finally, I want you to rest your trailblazing soul, Soulman. Pain free, regret free, satisfied and at ease. You lived a very full, very hard, barrier breaking life and left it all in the ring. I love you dad and I’ll always be your proud and grateful son. Go rest high. #ripsoulman #rockyjohnson ?
The Rock gave the eulogy at his dad’s funeral. He truly wore his heart on his sleeve when he sang his dad’s praises. It is particularly challenging to publicly eulogize someone very close to you. Tears can flow and you can choke up. The Rock came through it all like the champ he is.
“Man, I wish I had … I wish I had one more shot,” The Rock said when he kicked off the eulogy. “I wish I had one more shot to say goodbye … to say I love you, to say thank you, but I have a feeling he’s watching. He’s listening.”
Breaking Color Barriers
The Rock explained how Soul Man won the hearts of people across the country in a time of great racial division. Rocky was often the only black man competing, yet he would win over crowds filled with white people all across the country because of his character.
“When you think of my dad’s name, you think ‘hard work.’ You think ‘barrier-breaking,’ you think being the hardest worker in the room, always working out,” Dwayne said about his dad. “He taught me how to work out at a very young age. Hard work, discipline — those are things and tenants that are synonymous with my dad’s name.”
The Rock shared the video of this eulogy in the Instagram post below. It’s incredibly touching. Be prepared to be hit right in the feelings.
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You trail blazed and even harder, you changed people’s harsh behaviors toward a man of color. Paving the way for me, my family and generations to come. You loved us with the capacity of which you could – given all the givens. Raised me with an iron hand and a tough complicated love. A love that now, as a father and man, I’ve learned to refine as I raise my own children. I wish I had one more shot. To say one more thing. You were taken too fast. Slipped right thru my hands. But you were so loved, lived so full, defined culture and now you rest high. Peacefully. And that makes my heart smile. I love you and now I have an angel to call by name. I’ll see you down the road, Soulman. Til we meet again. Your son ??
What a beautiful expression of love between a son and his father. Just recently The Rock’s daughter Simone was signed to the WWE – she’s following in her father’s footsteps.