Funerals have no purpose for the dead person. They are only for the people left behind. It’s probably not every day that someone might say they went to a “good” funeral, but a few years ago, I did just that.

An older guy I had known only somewhat, had been diagnosed with cancer. It was a very late diagnosis and short of a double-lung transplant, his time was quite limited. When faced with the choice of surgery which might extend his life another 12 months (though 8 months would be in recovery), he decided to NOT have the surgery. He had lived a full life and he decided that being flat on his back was *NOT* living, not in his eyes. The doctor had given him 2 months to live and he was able to make it a total of 7 months before the cancer overtook his body.

At his “life celebration” I learned so much about him it made me wish I had known him better. He was a skeptic (like me), played the drums (like I had in school), and was a Mopar car nut (NOW WE’RE TALKING!). Many years before, we had talked once about opening a car shop – I would be the wrench and he would do the talking – a perfect pair of car guys. But we never followed through with the idea and after he was gone, I thought about how life might have been different if only we had tried.

But there were so many people who relayed so many wonderful stories about him, it seemed he had touched everyone he came in contact with. And even though we only interacted a few times, he had affected me as well. Now years later, I still think about him from time to time, and he still smiles upon me.

Here’s to you, Alan!


About hemibill

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