Last night I went to a Memorial Tribute arranged by a co-worker and friend whose father passed away unexpectedly a few weeks ago. I have been to my fair share of funerals, "Shiva" sittings, and memorials over the years, but I have never had the honor to experience one like this. It was a true celebration of a life, and an evening filled with much more laughter than tears. There were probably 400 people in attendance, and a heavy presence of both law enforcement professionals and leather clad bikers, two seemingly disparate communities, yet my friend's dad was clearly beloved by both.A Story Well Told...One by one, dozens of family, friends, and former co-workers took to the podium to share very personal, emotional, and overwhelmingly funny stories of their experiences with, and love for, my friend's father. To say it was inspirational would be a gross understatement. I felt I was witnessing an incredibly special moment, driven by pure love for someone who clearly had been an incredibly special person. While I never had the chance to meet my friend's dad, hearing the stories and seeing the slideshow of so many captured moments, I could clearly see his spirit and influence in my friend, and even in my friend's young son. Yes, it was sad, but it was also very beautiful and filled with hope. Influence And Impact
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Clearly, my friend's dad touched many lives, and lived his own life to the fullest. Trite as that may sound, from what I witnessed and learned, in this case it really is true. It was wonderful to see how they celebrated him now that he is gone. As I walked to my car after leaving, without hesitation I took out my phone and called my own parents, something I know I don't do often enough. Though I never met him while he was alive, meeting him now, through the stories told, and the shared experience of their telling, my friend's father has indeed impacted my life too. There's Always Room To Learn
I think I learned many things last night, but the one thing I want to try harder to focus on is to celebrate life now. I want to celebrate my life and all that I have to be grateful for, and I want to celebrate the lives of my children and my family and all the people that I love. I don't want to wait for the memorial. How about you?
Photo Credit: © Sascha Burkard - Fotolia.com
Posted by Jeffrey Sass at 3:53 PM