Michael A. Goodwin (nephilpal) wrote,
Michael A. Goodwin
nephilpal

Death is your gift.

I went to Jonathan's funeral on Sunday. It was my first funeral -- or at least the first one I can remember -- and it was as triumphant and respectful a service as a man like Jonathan deserved. There were so many people present, so many lives he touched enough that they would come out to pay their regards. I saw a diversity of ages and races and sexual orientations and creeds. I saw life in all its many-varied splendor represented to show that this was a man who lived. I can only conclude that if people can say of me what was said of him, then I will have lived a very full and meaningful life. His father quoted the oath of the Green Lantern and read it aloud like scripture. His mother quoted Jonathan's own daily profanity-laden rants about Atlanta traffic. His best friend spoke of him most directly, who he was and the good he did. I signed a Green Lantern T-shirt with a final message to him.

The message of the funeral was that Jonathan's death is a gift to us. It shook us up and reminds us that we are not invulnerable. We will all die: our parents, our children, everyone we've ever cared about, everyone we've ever hated. So the question is not whether, but when. The question is the most pertinent of questions: what will we do with what time we have and will we use it meaningfully?

My final memory of Jonathan is certainly grief-filled. To say it was a happy occassion would be a lie. I cried very hard, before, during and after. Even so, that place was filled with the love of those who knew him: love for him and the love of those left behind for each other in his honor. We're better people for our time with him. Our world is better for his presence and a little sadder for his loss.

I still miss you, Jonathan. I suppose I always will.

Good bye.
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