This week a close family friend, “Gee,” unexpectedly passed away. It appears he was getting ready for a morning workout and was enjoying a cup of coffee when his time came. He had recently retired and was thought to be in good health. His passing was a shock to us all. Gee was a man full of life, with a quick-whit humor that could bring you to tears from uncontrollable laughter. His personality took over a room as soon as he entered it. Gee could discuss serious topics with a light hearted humor that put everyone at ease and allowed others to open up. I imagine him in heaven cracking jokes about his experience encountering St. Peter at the pearly gates or searching his new home for a bathroom only to discover there aren’t any in heaven as they are not necessary, what will he do with the extra 15 minutes a day! I’m sure he is having lots of fun talking about his profession, see Gee was a mortician. What do you do in heaven with that skillset?! Anyone who was touched by his humor and the easy way he approached life, will miss him dearly. But our loss is heavens gain. I expect to hear more thunder as heaven roars with laughter.
As with every loss, we stop our daily routine and ponder the meaning of life. We reflect on the finality of death and we re-evaluate if we are living the lives we were meant to live and putting priorities in the right place. Are we just passing time or is there something more to our lives here on earth? As I thought about Gee this week, I remembered the writings of King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived. “Vanity of vanity, it’s all vanity” wrote Solomon on the topic of life. Along with wisdom, Solomon was one of the wealthiest men of all times and he denied himself nothing. He had everything man can imagine, including 700 wives. Yikes! In this respect, I would say that Gee was wiser! He had one wife, whom he cherished through 46 years of marriage. But Solomon gained his most significant piece of wisdom by giving himself everything that earth (and money) could provide. Through this indulgence, he discovered that life without God is meaningless, vanity. Gee was wise in this regard as well. In his job, he was surrounded by death and understood the finality of an earthly end. He knew to live every moment to its fullest. Perhaps this is why his death has had a deep impact on so many. We gravitate towards those that seem to have it all figured out. They bring us comfort, they make us laugh, and they make us forget about the worries of the day. I cannot explain the sudden death of Gee, but I know that he had a huge impact in life. He touched so many and brought joy and laughter to those around him.
I thank God for the wisdom of Solomon. I also thank God for giving us good people like Gee to help us not only survive this world, but to enjoy this world. If we focus on the things of this world, it is all vanity. But if we focus on Him, and live for others, we quickly discover how wonderful this life can be. And Gee, rest well and I’ll see you soon, when I too finally make it home.
Remember Him, before the silver cord is severed, or the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the springs, or the wheel broken at the well, and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. Ecclesiastes 12: 6-7