Making sense

Anne Lamott, on writing ...

"We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they write so little. But we do. We have so much we want to say and figure out.”

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Rest in peace, Adam

This morning, I attended a funeral service for a 23-year-old young man from Stilwell, Kansas, who died in a tragic car accident in the early morning hours of June 7. His name: Adam P. Baker.
The how of the accident doesn't matter. The specifics are now irrelevant. The fact is this: This time, one week ago, he was alive, working as a nurse on the fourth floor of St. Joseph Hospital, only six months into his new career, having graduated from a prestigious private nursing school at the turn of the new year. He loved his job; his colleagues loved him.
And then, he was gone.
I had never met him, but I knew his Aunt Sue and Uncle Mike, and they are Good People. My sister and Sue are best friends. I went not only to pay respect to the life of this remarkable young man, but to accompany my sister, who was distraught over Adam's death. I didn't want her to drive to Kansas all by herself. Grieving, with its tears and heaves, takes a lot out of a person.
Hundreds of people, mostly young ~ I assume Adam's high school and college friends ~ crowded the enormous sanctuary. A cover of black blanketed the pews. I felt oddly out of place, dressed in a white linen shirt and khaki capris. What was I thinking? An entire closet full of black and I dress like I'm going to Nantucket.
This was my third funeral in recent years where friends and family of the deceased are invited to the podium to speak of their loved one. Informal eulogies. Starts and stops, sobs intermingling. Especially poignant was watching Sue step forward to the altar to comfort her son, Mike, when his tears choked him. She placed her hand on his back; his will strengthened, he continued his beautiful tribute.
Really, the service was beautiful. It was apparent that Adam P. Baker was loved and treasured. My heart goes out to his mother and father, and to his siblings, and to his friends and extended family members.
I am comforted by Jesus' words: "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14: 1-3)
Rest in peace, dear Adam.

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