I lost a friend this week.  He died sitting in his chair reading a book which, as his family points out, was typical of his low-keyed style. Even in death he didn’t create a fuss. You could perhaps describe him as contained, and he preferred to cheer his abundantly talented and fun-loving family from the side-lines rather than being in the middle of the fray. Make no mistake he also knew how to live well and his personal prescription for a damn good party was a bottle of scotch and his banjo. He knew hundreds of tunes – well – sort of knew them – at least well enough to get the party started.

Low-keyed perhaps but  well-loved and active in the community so much so that his memorial service had to be moved from his local church to the larger facility in the next town which has full to overflowing. To a person – his 4 children, his wife and his friends and other family members spoke about the legacy of his character and how the best of who he was as a man was now a part of them as a result of knowing and loving him.

I left the memorial service uplifted and deeply moved by the way the family opened their hearts and were in return carried by the outpouring of love from friends and loved ones.

No matter what gifts we may have been given – developing the kind of character that my friend lived and breathed is something to aspire to. It is the measure of a man.

From his obituary-

He will be greatly missed by his family, his banjo, and all the songs to which he knew half the lyrics.

Strongly committed to serving his community, his legacy is the strength of his kind and humble heart.

Category: Personal
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