Saturday brought with it a break in the weather. It was still pretty chilly for March, but the ice was beginning to melt, and the sun was trying to make it's way through. It was with a particularly heavy heart that I got up that morning. I knew this would be the last day to gather with everyone to say goodbye to Jon. Part of me just wanted it to be over, but part of me felt that if we could just keep doing things, we could not forget. I know now, that yes, some people will forget, and that is ok. I also know that those people who will never forget are the people who always have and always will stand by us.
Suicide is a tricky thing when it comes to a funeral service. Some people think it is simply a selfish act by the person, some people think that there was some serious mental illness, and some people just don't know what to think! It can be difficult to try and decipher what needs to be said as a way of goodbye. I asked Pastor M to do the service for us. He didn't know Jon other than what I had told him. He met him once, at my wedding. He did an amazing service. He was able to bring some serious understanding to me, and I think he reached quite a few people that Saturday. He told the story of the Prodigal Son. Now, without going through the sermon word for word - but I probably could - the message I got from this sermon was this: Jon is not alone. He is like the Prodigal Son, now kneeling at the feet of God, and being embraced by our heavenly Father. All of the troubles, and terrible things in his life have been forgiven. He did not know how else to deal with the things he was going through, and when it became too much for his human body and brain to handle, he was embraced by God.
What a comfort this brought to me! This sermon, and this comparison is the thing I am holding onto like a baby to their "blankie" right now. I need to believe that Jon has been embraced by the arms of Jesus, and that his hurting has ceased.
Most of you reading this knew Jon as well as I did. I love you all for that more than you could know! I truly believe that he tried so hard to do the right things. He just couldn't do it. I have tried so hard myself to figure out what made him choose some of the things he did, but I can't figure it out for sure. Depression? Yes, I think so. Addiction? Definitely. Caused by the depression? Maybe. Could it have been inherited? I haven't done enough research to know if that's possible. He was a man (sounds weird to say that, but he was a man, even though I still think of him as a boy!) who was deeply hurting, and he had his mind made up. He felt that he could simply not go on living the life he was living. I will not know what the last straw was, I can only guess, until I can ask him face to face. I wait earnestly for that day to come. I have many things left to do here, but when God decides it is my day, i think I might just dance on up there!
And so, one part of my journey is complete. I have told my version of this story. Oh, there is still so much more to tell. Now, I can begin the rest of my journey from the present. The past will still be here, and it will not be forgotten, but I think that now that I have it here, so I can go back to it when I want to, I can let it go a little bit. It's hard for me to say that. I don't mean to let it go like I will "get over it", I am just hoping that it may get a bit easier now...