My stepbrother, only 36 years old, died very suddenly on Saturday from a heart condition none of us knew he had. He was vibrant, active, and seemingly healthy. There was no warning, no reason, and his passing still seems utterly incomprehensible.
On the good side, he died painlessly in his sleep, with his beloved black lab at his side, after a week of doing what he loved, hunting with his cousin.
But he’s gone, and we miss him dearly. He was the kind of person who made the world a better place, both actively (through charity and mission work) and passively (simply by being himself). The world is poorer without him.
His funeral was today, and a magnificent event it was. He had touched so many lives, there were more flowers than I had ever before seen at a funeral, and the church was thick with people. The eulogy was delivered by his dear friend, who lost his notes and had to wing it. And he said all the right things, all the beautiful things. One who loved God dearly and wanted nothing more than to serve God, is now with God and has all the answers to all of his questions. Then we sang “Here I Am, Lord,” a favorite hymn, but I couldn’t sing past the first few words because I was crying so hard.
At the gravesite, his hunting buddies, clad head to foot in camo, gave him a shotgun salute, beginning with a chorus of duck calls and ending with twenty-one reports echoing through the cold, crisp wind. After most folks had left, some of the hunters lined up the empty shell casings on the casket lid, a final salute. He would have loved it.
Corridors of Blood
10 months ago