We can grieve, but then we must celebrate...

Two weeks ago today, a dear family friend passed away.
Here's what I wrote to him last week after attending his memorial service,
and maybe, even though you didn't know him, it can mean something to you, too.

Dear Raymond,

Knowing you're gone is knowing the world is a little less wonderful now.  At your service, mom and I wept.  And wept.  You are someone's father, someone's son, someone's husband, someone's brother, someone's uncle, someone's very best friend, someone's saving grace, many someones' inspiration.  How do we go on, knowing someone incredible, someone who truly loved and lived, is no longer here?  How do we go on, missing you, knowing that everyone you loved misses you...
How do we laugh again?

Father Chuck said your passing is beautiful, really; we see the testament of your character, because the church was overflowing with people wanting to honor and remember a man who touched their lives, a man who made everyone smile.  We are going to live better lives now, all of us, because you make us want to be better.  You make us want to be more like you.  Someday, I want the church to overflow for me, too.

May you be a lovely ghost, alive in all of our hearts, reminding us to love and cherish and give and share and sing and pray and praise and laugh.  These were your gifts and may we pass them on to all we meet.

Thank you for bringing us together in celebration of your life, that we might laugh together again.

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