I just got back from Maryland where the goodwife and I attended the memorial service for my buddy Jez. There were around 250 mourners there and it was quite a eclectic mix. There were firefighters, police officers, reenactors (both in period clothing and modern) Free Masons, members of the military, and every other type of person you can imagine. All there to pay their respects, to both Jez's memory as well as Jez's family. Looking around, I told the goodwife that the number of mourners was the best monument that there could be to Jez's memory.
Jez, received honors from the fire department since he was a volunteer in it for around 16 years. He had served in the 82nd Airborne, so their association was present. Jez also served in the Special Forces (I think in 7th Group) so he rated a military funeral. I was told that his ashes would be interred at Arlington National Cemetery. Jez also received Masonic rites. All in all a very impressive gathering and ceremony.
I spoke to the gathering, knowing full well that nothing I could say would make the pain or sorrow go away for the family. But I found a quote from Queen Elizabeth II which I shared that I thought might lessen some of the sting. The Queen said " Grief, is the price we pay for love" I hope what I said gave some measure of comfort to Charlie, (Jez's stepdad) Peggy (Jez's mom) Cheryl (Jez's sister) Josie (Jez's wife) and Clarrisa (Jez's step-daughter)
Life goes on, but it will be just a little bit more drab, a little less fun without Jez around. I don't think that I am alone in feeling this way.