There once was a man. He was a husband, father, son, brother, uncle, friend, co-worker, neighbour and volunteer. He was also so much more. He was a unique individual that left his mark on every single person he encountered. I did not know him but I lived on the fringes of his world. Last week his life came to a sudden and tragic end. This man was not famous nor in the public eye yet at the wake over a thousand people paid their respects and filled his loved ones’ hearts with wonderful stories and memories to cherish. At his funeral the small church was filled to the rafters with those left behind. There were so many that they spilled into the hall and out on to the grass. In every story told the final words were always, “He made me want to be a better person.” After listening to the stories I feel a loss that I did not know him.
I have no grandiose ideas that, when my time comes, the mourners will stand in line for hours to pay their respects, but after what I have witnessed in the past twenty-four hours, I will strive to become a better person. This is my gift to your children.
Rest in Peace.