Today, I lost a very dear friend. It was sudden and unexpected. He left behind his wife, stepson, and other close family members. He also left behind an uncountable number of friends and acquaintances that will forever be touched by his presence in their lives.

The range of emotions that I am experiencing seems to be unending. I am not sad, for him, he passed, he is in the best possible place. A world that is greater than I can imagine. I am grieving the goodbye. The knowledge that he is not with us in the here and now.

He lived life to its fullest, making sure to bring anyone he could along for the ride. He was a visionary, always ready with a “plan” for his visions. He was intelligent, funny, and loving. He was a mentor, and leader, who used his gift of discernment to help guide those around him. He was a great friend, always supportive and honest. He openly shared his faith in words, actions and deeds.

It is not only my friends passing that weighs heavy on me, but also memories of others that have passed in my life. The memories of their lives, and how they intertwined with mine, in both words and deeds.

Ecclesiastes 7:2- (NRSV) says:

It is better to go to the house of mourning

than to go to the house of feasting;

for this is the end of everyone,

and the living will lay it to heart.

3 Sorrow is better than laughter,

for by sadness of countenance the heart is made glad.

4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning;

but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.”

When I read this I reflect, mourning is a time to reflect on the loss and also a time to reflect on yourself. “for this is the end of everyone” – we all will pass, “for by sadness of countenance the heart is made glad. “ – in the face of sadness the heart can realize happiness. The process of mourning is important. In mourning there is a time for self-reflection, a time to take all that this very special person has taught and shared with those around him and use it to move forward as better person than before. Hopefully, not only growing personally, but, touching others by sharing his life through his stories, his teachings and his memories. I hold in my mind the words from Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.” I am not alone in my mourning, many mourn this loss with me, and the Lord is right there with us, guiding us through the process of mourning and moving us forward in our lives and grow in our faith

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