Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Right Words

I am leaving later this week to attend my nephew's funeral. He was 24 years old. People in my family are looking to me to say a few positive words about his life.
How do you address a life cut short by self-destructive behavior? He was a troubled young man who had become increasingly irrational in the last couple of years. He visited us at Christmas and his ten day stay was aborted after two days. I was angry at him when we took him to the airport, 50 miles away. Thankfully, I spoke to him later when he called and apologized for his behavior. I accepted his apology but I was pretty cool when doing so.
As a young teen he excelled at motocross. I think that these were the happiest years of his life. He loved the thrill of riding his motor bike off impossibly high hills, jumping 20 to 25 feet in the air, before landing precariously on one wheel, while racing his fellow contestants down the course. His performances on the track in those days were inspired and so very different from his track record in recent years.
My sister is wracked with pain and guilt. His passing has changed her life and the lives of her husband and daughter forever. So, when she asked me to say a few words, I readily agreed. I could do no less. Now, I am looking for a way to memorialize him that will bring comfort to my baby sister and overlook his recent actions. I fear that this will be the hardest writing assignment of my life but I will do it lovingly, carefully and respectfully for the sake of my sis.


Karen Beeching said...

Diane, I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I am certain you will come up with the right words of comfort.

JoAnn said...

Diane, what a loving, generous, and comforting thing for you to do. The words will come. Sometimes in situations like this, I find myself focussing on the joy the person brought to life, even if it was years and years ago. I am so, so sad for you and your sister. Love to you, and safe trip.

Carla Swafford said...

I remember our little talk during the 7 hr drive to and 7 hr drive back from Shreveport.

I'm so sorry. He was so young, but you know deep inside there was nothing you could've done different. Actually, I thought you did what was best.

I would suggest sticking to the good years and the good times. That will make it easier for you and everyone. But I believe you've already decided that's the best route. Hugs.

Julie J. said...

Diane, I am attending a family member's funeral right now who died in his early sixties. I am profoundly sad and cannot imagine the feelings of attending the funeral of someone whose life was cut short. My thoughts and prayers are with you. God will give you the words. Think in your heart about all the happy memories and speak from these memories. Your sister is very lucky to have you!

Naima said...

Diane, I just read your blog almost two weeks later, but I didn't want to let the chance slip by to tell you exactly how sorry I am for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family and I'm sure you did your sister, her family and your nephew's life justice in your words. God gifted you with words, and in His infinite wisdom, knew that on this day you would use that gift to be a comfort to your family and friends.