Sunday, December 11, 2011
Yesterday, I attended my friend Kyle's funeral. He turned 43 last Sunday. He died Monday morning.
It's Sunday afternoon where I live...4:45 pm to be exact. This time last week, he was enjoying his birthday. Now, he's gone. His funeral is over. And, we are supposed to go back to our normal life tomorrow.
How can anything be normal? How can I comprehend this when I'm still in shock that Papa is actually gone? Papa died just 17 days before Kyle. And, we had 9 months and 1 week to prepare for Papa's passing. That's how long we knew he had pancreatic cancer. Papa was 76. We knew he was sick. And, I still can't wrap my head around him being gone FOREVER. And, Kyle...man oh man...Kyle was just 43, barely. He had a massive heart attack and was gone. He never even knew he was sick. Nor did we.
But somehow, some way, we are supposed to comprehend all of this. How do I explain these things to Keller when I don't know what to say? Yes, I believe it's God's plan. He is in control. But, I don't understand God's plan. I hurt. That's what I know right now.
Another thing I know is that I want to be more like Kyle and Papa. They both had no regrets. Papa told me that several times in the last year. He said to me on more than one occasion, "I've had a great life, I know where I'm going, and I'm ready." How great is that? To have the time to reflect on your own life...to know your heart is right with God...and to be ready to leave this earth.
I believe Kyle felt the same, although I never heard him say it. The last time I saw Kyle was at our house after Papa's funeral. He hugged me several times that day, as he always did. He smiled & listened, as he always did. He always brought love & laughter & peace into a room. He did that day, too. Oh, how I wish I knew that I would never see him again. I would have told him that I want to be more like him. I want to love people every chance I get, just like he did. I always want to make people feel better when they hurt, just like he did. I want to smile, even thru the pain, just like he did.
If we all lived like that, it would be a life of no regrets. We would leave love every place we went. What's to regret about that?
One HUGE regret I have is that I didn't go to Kyle's house on Thanksgiving Day. It was just 3 days after Papa's funeral. Our family elected to go to a movie and grill steaks instead of participating in a traditional Thanksgiving. It would be too painful, we thought. But, now...I regret not going by there, at least for a few minutes. If I had, I would have had my camera. I would have taken lots of family photos. We would all have more recent photos of Kyle and his amazing smile.
I will try to remember the lessons of this year and do all I can to live a life of no regrets. I will continue to focus on the daily moments of life that are so precious, as I tried to do with Papa all year. I will try to live my life fully with no regrets, like both Papa and Kyle showed me how to do.
And, I will miss Papa and Kyle.