Today was the memorial service for Jack. It was sad. Necessary but sad.
Tonight I am doing what I need to do to mourn for Jack. To get it all out there. To seek closure. To make the way to move to the next part of my life. I have written quite a bit in my pen and paper journal but I want to do this as well.
If I were to stand up in front of a group of people and talk about Jack, this is what I would say:
I was drawn to Jack because he was:
He showed us many kindnesses and reached out to us in different ways, sharing magazines, cartoons, quotes, articles. When I read the magazines he sent over, I would on occasion, find little notes he had written to me in the margins. I had never met anyone quite like Jack.
He loved reading and never stopped learning. He had a wonderful way with words. His writing was eloquent and entertaining.
Jack and I shared an unusual relationship for neighbors who lived just across the street. He wrote to me: Thank you notes for any small favor, funny observations, and little notes about things going on in the neighborhood. He called himself our self-appointed neighborhood block watch captain. He added appropriate comics and little quotes which I understand have been christened “Jackisms.” And whenever he wrote to me, I wrote back, and so our correspondence and friendship developed. He never failed to cheer me up and bring a smile to my face. I kept everything he ever wrote to me.
He was always kind, always polite, always wanted to help. He was very conscientious about fulfilling any perceived obligation.
He loved the four seasons in Michigan even if it meant putting up with the Michigan winters. When he was able, he would be out in his driveway several times during a snow storm, shoveling or sweeping away the snow, setting a good example for the rest of the neighborhood.
In closing I would like to share the following quote:
“I am standing on the seashore. A ship spreads her sails to the morning breeze and starts for the ocean. I stand watching her until she fades on the horizon, and someone at my side says, ‘She is gone!’ Gone where? The loss of sight is in me, not in her. Just at the moment when someone says, ‘She is gone,’ there are others who are watching her coming. Other voices take up the glad shout, ‘Here she comes!’
“And that is dying.”
So I am very happy for those who have seen Jack coming and take up the glad shout, “Here he comes!” I am comforted to know that I will see him again. And I am happy for Jack to be in a place where he can be free of pain and free of the restrictions of a tired body, but I am sad for those of us here who will miss him so much.
I love you, dear Jack, and I will never forget you.
And that is what I would say. I don't think there will ever again be anyone in my life like Jack. I am so thankful that I was able to know him and be his friend.