July 26, 2003

// March 8th, 2010 // From the forthcoming book "Losing Steve: One Mother's Journey Through Grief"

One hundred and five people came to our home today to remember Steve. We made his “funeral” like all of the other going away parties we’ve had for him in the past. We invited friends and family to a pot luck lunch.

I know of at least thirty more that would have come if we had waited a week, but I just had to get through this, get it over with. I had to make it happen as soon as possible so I didn’t feel it hanging over me, like the guillotine balde. So we did it today, just three days after he died.

As his health deteriorated, Steve had questions, big questions. Questions about life, death, and life after death. He was blessed with the opportunity to talk to two pastors; Amy and Jeremy’s pastor, Greg, and my pastor, Mark. Each was able to share God with Steve but each seemed to share a slightly different side of our multifaceted God. As they talked, Greg stayed very focused on the topic, showing Steve the constancy and stability of God. Mark reinforced this view but also kept God in the ebb and flow of the conversation. One day after Mark left from a visit, Steve shared with me their conversation. He said, “We talked about God, child rearing, God, cars, body surfing, God, diabetes, God,” etc, etc. In a way Mark was able to show Steve a small hint of God’s diversity and playfulness. That God is in everything we do, and with us everywhere we go. Both of these wonderful men were able to come to the service today.

Once everyone arrived, we got the food and utensils all arranged on the dining room table. Then we all gathered in the driveway under the hot summer sun where Greg then Mark was able to speak to us about life, death, and the hope we all have in the resurrection. After that, as many of Steve’s friends and family that wanted to shared their special memories of him. His Uncle Dave told the crowd about the summer Steve was nine years old and together they built a tree house just beyond our front door. For many years Steve (and sometimes his best friend, Shawn) would sleep out there as often as we would let him. Some of his desert buddies talked about Steve’s kindness. How he would never charge you to pull you out of “Ten Dollar Hole”. They talked about hearing Steve’s unique laugh from two campsites away. Carolyn, who watched and closely participated in Steve’s life, talked about a young man who made some unfortunate choices but how he ultimately overcame those and became a good man–a great friend and neighbor. As the sharing went on it started to get a little maudlin. But then someone said, “I know what Steve would say about now, “Let’s eat!” So we did.

One hundred and five people milling about in our home, yet it felt so empty.

Leave a Reply