My friend Rodney died a couple of weeks ago. I have wanted to write something about him, and just couldn’t; it wouldn’t happen. But after his memorial service last night, I made a journal entry that I’ll share with you instead. It says about all that needs to be shared. [Minor edits for readability]
7/2/14 — God has a well-honed sense of irony, if not humor. After one of the most heart-wrenching — and uplifting — grief experiences of my life last night, today’s little [meditation] homily is about acceptance of the fact of death.
Rodney’s memorial service was the most wonderful thing! The theme was the ocean, which he loved. They had a beautiful little ceremony where you could go up and dip your hands in some ocean water, with the central of three bowls surrounded by seashells. (I brought a tiny one home to remember him by — not that it’s ever likely to prove difficult.)
But the most amazing part was the things people had to say about him! It wasn’t the usual platitudes, but things like, “Rodney saved my live!”; “I wouldn’t be sober if it wasn’t for him!”; and “My family loves him because they got their son back.” For me, who knew him mostly as a seeker, these revelations of his beloved place in the recovery community and his church were [eye-openers].
For some reason, though, when it got down to the wire, Rodney couldn’t accept the help he had given so many others, and became one more victim of our mutual disease. A painful lesson for we who loved him, but one well-taken.
How much we have to learn about others, even those we think we’ve come to know pretty well! Maybe, as the minister at the Metropolitan Community Church said last night, God needed his help “up there.”
Rest well, dear friend.