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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Shares Video of Emotional Eulogy He Delivered at Dad's Funeral

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Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson shared a video of the heartfelt and emotional eulogy he gave at his father Rocky Johnson’s funeral last month.

Rocky “Soul Man” Johnson was considered to be one of the most formidable and dynamic wrestling champions of his era. The WWE Hall of Famer died last month of a heart attack at age 75.

Dwayne Johnson, 47, gave a beautiful and heart-wrenching tribute to his father in front of a large crowd of loved ones, including his father’s friends, family and members of the wrestling community.

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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 ??

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Johnson struggled to compose himself as he stood on stage to deliver the eulogy that he said was very difficult to write.

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“Man, I wish I had — I wish I had one more shot,” the actor began. “I wish I had one more shot to say goodbye — to say I love you, to say thank you, I respect you, but I have a feeling he’s watching. He’s listening.”

Johnson explained that he found out about his father’s death on Jan. 15, right as he had arrived at work for a day of filming. His father had suffered a massive heart attack and was gone in the blink of an eye.

Unsure of whether or not to forge ahead with the production schedule as planned, Johnson said he heard a voice that he believed was his dad, telling him what to do: “The show must go on,” Johnson said, an echo of what his professional wrestling father would say.

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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 ?

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Johnson spoke of his father as a “trailblazer” throughout his wrestling career, breaking through barriers of racial stigma and tension with his incredible work ethic and unbeatable performances in competition.

“And for my dad, when he broke into the business in the mid-’60s and throughout the late ’60s and into the ’70s in the United States where racial tension and divide was very strong and in the ’60s and the ’70s you have a black man coming in, it’s an all-white audience and all these small little towns that eventually I would go on to wrestle in — but at that time he changed the audience’s behavior and actually had them cheer for this black man,” Johnson said.

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“And not when he was wrestling against other black men, ’cause he was usually the only black guy in the territory, he was wrestling against other white wrestlers.” Johnson continued. “I thought that was really unique, and I thought that was really powerful, and I thought that it deserved to be said. And that’s what this man did.”

Johnson talked about how his father’s reputation became synonymous with hard work and discipline, values he passed down to his family.

“My dad fought for racial equality at a time where it was needed,” Johnson said.

Throughout the eulogy, Johnson found himself so overcome with emotion that he had to pause, compose himself, and finish the speech.

In light of loss, Johnson took solace in knowing that his father’s death would make his family even more tight-knit.

“Because through processes like this, we’ve all lost loved ones, but guaranteed when we walk out of these doors, we’re going to hold each other a bit tighter, we’re going to hug each other a bit harder, we’re going to kiss each other and we’re going to say, ‘I love you,’ and we’re going to be a bit more present,” he said.

Johnson posted the video to Instagram with a sentimental caption.

“I’ll see you down the road, Soulman. Till we meet again,” he wrote.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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