Friday, August 08, 2003


Attended the funeral for my friend, Bill, today. Bill worked hard. He died young.

   Note to family: When I die don't mourn my passing too long...celebrate my ascension. Remember my life. I enjoyed every minute of it. Largely because of you.

All funerals are sad I suppose. Bill's was too. Not only in its dark somber overtone, but also because it had such a disconnected feel.

   Note to my family: No open casket. I don't really want folks standing 18 inches from me staring at my face right now and I'm alive. I'm going to work on the assumption that death won't improve my appearance.

Bill was raised Catholic and never formally joined our church. His wife joined, and they both attended church regularly for about two years. For whatever reason, some months ago they both drifted away. We reached out repeatedly to no avail and I had hoped that perhaps they had found another church home, but today as I listened to the standardized words of comfort and prayer from a priest who admittedly had never met Bill or his family, it became apparent that in the last year of his life Bill was without a contingent of fellow faithful wanderers.

   Note to my church family: Thank you. I would be aimless without your hands to hold.

The funeral was held in a mortuary chapel. The first 5 rows were reserved for family but the immediate family opted to stay in an alcove so we could not observe and share in their grief. I respect their choice, but I don't understand it.

   Note to my family: Share your grief, cling to each other and to our friends. There is no shame in sadness. Mourn so that you can move on.

I left Bill's funeral today wishing I could do more for his wife, daughter and grandchild. I will try in the weeks and months ahead.

   Note to self: Talk is cheap

I left Bill's funeral today knowing I will do more for my wife, and children. I will do more to remind them that life is fun, God is good and when I'm gone that will still be true.

   Note to Bill: I'll miss you man.