Friday, January 16, 2015

A Contrast in Memorial Services

Yesterday we went to a memorial service for a friend and neighbor who died on December 24th. It was a good celebration of his life, and we learned a lot about him we hadn't known, saw his children and grandchildren, knew he'd had a good 87 years.

I found it hard to be there in several ways. It brought back memories of Leif's memorial service, and the contrast in their lives; Leif, who died at 33 by his own hand, with no wife and no children, lonely. John, who had a heart attack but had a life of verve and action with a loving wife, children, stepchildren he took as his own, grandchildren and great-granchildren.

The two of them had some things in common, a love of sailboating and SCUBA, being on the water.

How I wish Leif could have lived a life that long, that productive, and that happy. I know no life is completely and universally happy. We all have challenges and unhappy moments. But when we look back over our lives, how much better it would be to say we have lived our lives well.

It was such a contrast in the two services. John's was full of good, and even funny, memories accomplishments. No one had to speculate on why he was dead. Leif's was full of sadness for his loneliness and depression, trying to understand who he was and why he was no longer with us.

I still miss Leif every day of my life. I still wish he were here, and happy, and healthy, and had a family. I will never stop wishing it.

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