Last week Eric Phillip’s, one of our best friends, father died after a hard battle with brain cancer. The death of a loved one is one of those things you cannot know until you experience it for yourself. And after just losing my father-in-law this summer, and knowing the support of my friends presence, I could not miss the memorial.
So this past Saturday, Graham and I drove 3.5 hours to be at Eric’s dad’s memorial. Eric and Nicole have 3 kids, their oldest is Evan who is 5 years old. I volunteered to sit one row behind Eric and Nicole with Evan and Graham. The memorial was in a small, country church, and every pew was packed.
While we were waiting for the service to begin Evan pointed at the bronze cross sculpture on the communion table and said, “Hey did you know this church has a cross trophy?” A bit of unintentional comic relief brought such a smile to me.
Then throughout the service, Evan kept whispering to me. He wasn’t whispering things like, when will this be over, or, I’m hungry. He was simply processing the death of his grandfather (who he called Robbie) out loud. It’s funny how a 5 year old can be so wise and not even know it.
During one of the minister’s very long prayers, Evan began to join in. It was almost as if he felt like the minister wasn’t saying what he thought should be said about his Robbie so he said it out loud.
“And thank you for Robbie”
This minister continued to pray.
“And thank you that he is healed.”
Loss is so hard to understand whether you are 5 or 95. And just like kids, we adults, we can have so many questions. So many whys, and it is ok to have those questions and to ask those questions. But little waves of comfort can wash over us when we stop and give thanks.
Thank you for his life. My life is better because of the time I had with him.
And thank you that he is healed and no longer suffering on this earth.
Here’s a picture of Graham and Evan together.