Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Keeping Them Here

A friend lost a friend to an accident and I told him this:
The only thing you can do now is take the best of him out into the world. You can be more like what you admired in him. And when you see someone such as your kids or especially HIS kids act like something you admired in him, you can say "you remind me of . . . ” and tell them why and tell them a little story about him. Everyone knows him in different ways and you have to figure out what specialness about him you know and that others need to know and figure out a way to give that to them. You are the only keeper of that thing, of the special things you know about him, and they will not know it of him unless you give it to them. That is the only way we keep people alive and living on this earth and keep their contribution flowing through the generations to come. Not just by remembering the person, but by giving voice to those remembrances and in such a way that it encourages in others the good you saw in the friend you lost.


Paddle said...

Coincidently, I was thinking just today of a "deear friend" I never met. He's a guy who built over 600 canoes with his wife. Each one a special contribution to someone who no doubt dearly cherishes it today. He passed away at the age of 94 still building canoes. I have deeply admired him for his work but more importatnly for his devotion to his wife who proceeded him in death by a few years. He continued to build canoes on his own. He deeply loved the outdoors and took every opportunity to share it with others. That reminds me a lot of someone else I know.

Thank you for your post today.

DFV said...

Your most beautiful and insightful post yet.

I was fortunate enough to write and have produced a short one-act play about my two grandmothers. The two actresses portraying them always ask for more stories about them. I doubt if my grandmothers would have approved of their portrayals, but there is a consolation in seeing hundreds of people loving them as I did (and still do).

Mom Cat said...

At a funeral I attended, the homily was that a person dies 3 times. The first is physical;the second, when people stop relating stories about that person;third, when people pass the grave and no one knows who that person was. Sometimes, I feel lucky to be sharing the last year or so with my friend but I dread the day she won't be here. I already miss her! It's a long,hard good-bye.