I attended Matthew’s memorial service today and it was good to be surrounded by other people who loved him. It was held in First Presbyterian Church in Wichita, which is a stunning place and a fitting for a tribute to a man who loved beauty in all its forms.
Afterwards I spoke to his mother and her husband briefly, but didn’t get a chance to talk with his dad. I also got to meet some family members I had heard Matthew talk about, but never met, which was nice. I also talked with Kim, who I’d only “met” on facebook during the past few days. Even in death, Matthew is connecting people.
I saw Lora, Matthew’s wife, as soon as we walked in the door today. Even though she was no doubt overwhelmed, she came over to give me a hug. It felt good to connect with her in person. I was incredibly touched that after the service, at the reception, she asked if I’d like to go to Honduras with her to spread some of Matthew’s ashes. Of course, I would be honored to do that.
Grief is not something that ends for me. I still grieve for Mama, for Pat, for my Aunt LaVerne who died more than 25 years ago, and for others who are gone. Grief just settles into my being, finding a place in my heart as one way of remembering, of celebrating, of appreciating the life shared with that person. So, I’ve made a place in my heart for Matthew, where he’ll live on in happy memories, bittersweet only because we can’t make new ones together.
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