The wake was early, viewing 8:30-10:00 and funeral immediately after. I had a doctor’s appointment at 11:30 so I couldn’t go to the funeral. I was there at 9. I had to leave at 7 AM to do it but I made it.
I was pleased to see the turnout. For a guy that we thought was a bit of a loner, he had a lot of people come out for him today. Even though I have known since Tuesday of his passing, and memorialized him in a post yesterday, it didn’t fully sink in that he was really gone. As I stood over his open casket it became very real.
We said goodbye to a very good man today.
I wouldn’t call John a friend, more like a work friend. I don’t know what he did on the weekends but I always suspected it was boring. But Monday through Friday we had a great work relationship that started a little rocky, we had very different personalities but grew into one of mutual respect and personal familiarity. He was there when I started and we walked out the door together when the company shut its doors. It saddens me now that he didn’t cross my mind much after we said goodbye that day. Like a said, more of a work friend.
Of course, I didn’t know he would be dead in 18 months.
John was a nice guy. We all know the “dead mystique”, everyone is nice when they’re gone. I’m sure there are people who thought that Jeffrey Dahmer was a nice guy. There’s no accounting for taste (see what I did there?). But John really was. He never spoke badly of anyone. He turned and left if people began to gossip. He was always willing to help. He cared for his mother tirelessly for years. He called his brother every night at 8pm. He took care of himself. And the aneurysm that shot to his brain on Monday night didn’t give a shit about any of that.
I’m glad that I tell people how I feel about them, of course, it can go the other way also. I have lost too many people in my life and I am sick of talking to tombstones. It’s too late when you’re saying it to a piece of marble. I know that on more than one occasion I told John how much I appreciate him, and he scoffed it off in his self-deflecting manner. But I take solace knowing that I did.
Death is so random. It doesn’t care who you are, what you did or how you did it. Good people die young and bad people die old. It makes belief in God difficult if you are one to try to make sense of things. I am so comfortable in my not knowing how it works that I will continue to tell people how much I appreciate them. Because tomorrow may be too late.