This morning was not one of my favorite mornings.
I spent it attending the funeral of a very good man.
A man who should not have died so young. A man who still had a lot of life left in him. A man who had a beautiful wife and two children that were the light of his eyes.
Nobody understands what happened. It was so sudden and so unexpected that people are reeling from this tragedy. We stood and watched as his seven year old son joined a group of large men and helped carry the casket of his father into the church and later into the cemetery. That image will be burned into me forever.
An image that I don’t ever want to have of my own son.
The service was especially touching because the priest knew the family personally. He even said that he would not stand there and preach theologies or talk about how the departed was happier now. No, he talked about how we shouldn’t shy away from grief or sorrow, but instead should feel them and be there for his family as they feel it, too.
I don’t pretend to have known this good man really well like plenty of others crowded into the church did. I was not surprised that it was standing room only by the time it ended. I was lucky enough to know him because I used to babysit his kids back when mine were little. He was often the one that picked them up, and I was always glad to see him. He was one of those people that just lit up a room with his cheerful presence. Over the years I’d see him at various functions – parties, t-ball, etc, and always it was the same joyful man that greeted me.
Some people pass through your life without ever leaving much of a mark.
He will be remembered by all of us who were blessed to know him.