Wednesday, April 09, 2008

:: a celebration of life ::

the realization that a colleague has passed away, and all that's left was just an empty desk (with some of his personal possessions) finally came through.

this morning was his funeral - at his hometown, zoetemeer. quite a few of us from work car-pooled and took time off to be there, one even flew from london just for the funeral.

it was a very simple funeral, yet very meaningful. there were moving eulogy from people at work and his family.

but it was his wife's speech that moved me the most. it was mostly in dutch, of course, but she translated the last part of the speech because she wanted everyone to understand something so universal, yet so neglected: love.

she said that in all their years of marriage, bram would always make sure to call her everyday (since he travelled to most parts of the world for work) and tell her that everything was good and how much he loved her. she ended her speech by reminding us to call our loved ones before sunset, and reminded them how much we loved them.

i did...i called my mom later.

this is not the first time that someone from work has passed away, i've had this unfortunate experience before in 2004.

what made this funeral somewhat special was the generosity of his family to remind us that what matters most is not when a person has gone, but the celebration of each other, as human beings when we are all alive and well. and i guess that was the spirit of the funeral - a celebration of his life. wines, beers and rosé were served after the ceremony.

instead of trying to comfort his wife in this difficult moment, i felt that she was reassuring me. she remembered our conversations and dinners together in krakow, and how we seemed to be connected spirituality. they trusted me as they sensed that my energy was a good one. we talked and we smiled, i hid my tears, but it was difficult.

before i left the funeral, i thanked her and her sons because they have shared a generous and kind man into my life - someone who is not only a colleague, but another fellow human being.

and with that, i have moved on.

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