I was given the honor yesterday of leading the service for a childhood friend. I hadn't seen Tom since we were fifteen and the phone call I received from his sister telling me of his death was a surprise to me. I have spent the last few days reflecting on those days in junior high and high school and the interactions I had with Tom. He led a very interesting life and I regret missing so much of it. His sister and a close lifelong friend filled in the fifty year gap that was his life for me.
As is frequent at most funerals, emotions ran high. There was laughter as people exchanged stories about Tom's quirky personality and raw sorrowful emotions as they reflected on how much Tom will be missed.
There is very little consolation for those left behind when they are told that he is going to a better place. Hopefully, that will come later as the years progress and the sting of sorrow loses its sharpness.