Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Death of a Friend and the Injustice of Life's Realities

I held the kids a little bit closer this afternoon. The sun seemed brighter and the air felt fresher.

Our weekend had been sent into a very dark place on Saturday morning when we learned of the passing of our friend, Gordon Lederman. Aged 44, 3 kids under the age of 7, and one of the absolute nicest guys you'll ever meet.

A funeral for a new, young widow on Mother's Day brought everything into focus in terms of life's priorities.

The unjustice of it all. The inability to comprehend it all.  Why someone who had devoted so much to his family, his community and his country had to be taken from all of us after a fierce battle with cancer.

I had spent an afternoon with Gordon last summer and his spirits were high, his resolve unwavering.  Yesterday, as the NFO and I processed the news, I berated myself a bit for not having spent more time with him, for letting my petty issues and concerns get in the way.

Last night, one of the funeral organizers emailed and asked if I would be able to organize a livestream of the funeral for those who couldn't attend.

Sensing an opportunity to give to Gordon something that I did not enough when he was alive, I agreed.  During the funeral, I noticed that 27 different viewers were able to participate in the experience. I figured that some were watching with others and was able to take a small bit of comfort that 40 or so people were able to watch as a result.

That's a small aside, of course, to the much larger tragedy.  We spent a great deal of the weekend trying to comprehend it all, feeling sad for his wife, but absolutely heartbroken for his 3 children. That's what had me choked up, more than anything.  It made me hold my own kids a bit closer today and we tried to explain to them what had happened in as real terms as possible.

It's something that the NFO and I do a lot. I feel good about the non-sugar coating approach we take. Life has realities and we're not trying to scare them, but we do need to prepare them.

However, for something like this, I just don't think it's possible to be truly prepared.

I sense I'm rambling and a bit all over the place now...I just feel the need to get it out, even though I can't really understand it. I am sorry for that.

But it is nothing compared to the sorrow I feel for his family.  I truly hope that they have the strength to persevere through this horrific experience and flourish nonetheless.

(If you knew Gordon and are motivated, here's the video of the funeral. Apologies for the ads and poor audio.)
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