Rest in Peace

Today we attended the funeral of a classmate from high school. He was a teammate of my husband’s for many years as they played lacrosse from middle school to high school and he was a friendly acquaintance of mine. Although we were not close, seeing him always brought a smile to my face (even just on Facebook for the last several years). I’m pretty sure he had that affect on everyone he encountered. His brother’s eulogy put it perfectly, “he ignited a room”.
This was our first funeral for a peer, but I couldn’t help but feel most deeply for his mother. I am so sorry for his friends and all who loved him, but seeing his mother now as a mother myself was the hardest. To mourn the loss of your child must be the hardest thing imaginable, no matter the circumstance. As parents, we are constantly concerned about keeping our children safe, healthy and happy. It’s hard to project to a time when my own children will be older and how much of their safety, health and happiness will be so far from my control. It scares me to think about that. You often think (or hope) that your own passing will be before your child’s, no matter their age. Sometimes I find solace in knowing that my girls have each other. They will rely on each other in good times and bad and when my husband and I are not around.
It was this kind of bond that was so clear when our friend’s brother eulogized him today. Not only did he show how beautiful their brotherly friendship was, but he also made a room full of hundreds of mourners feel at ease. He told us some hilarious anecdotes involving their boyish humor which started at a young age and continued until just a few weeks ago (think prank calls and bathroom jokes). And then he said he was almost relieved that his brother will not have to suffer anymore and that he is in a better place.
I’ve thought a good deal about mortality in the past year and isn’t that the silver lining when there seems to be none? When our loved ones pass their physical and emotional pain can end. I wish that they are in a place where they feel only peace and happiness. I hope that they can look down on the people they cared for and see just how much they were loved. And wow, if he was watching today, he saw just how many lives he touched and how his “perfect smile” radiated joy through all of us. That smile will be missed.

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