How do you build a life that’s worthy enough to bring people together to celebrate it with gratitude, love and awe at its end?
Recently I attended my brother in law, David’s, memorial service. He died too young from a brain tumour. It was sad and funny and left me regretful that I didn’t know him before he became ill. The service was a tapestry of stories, photos and music that painted a vibrant picture of David’s life, personality and values. This was wonderful for us all, but particularly important for his two young sons who will struggle remembering their Dad for more than his illness.
I’ve been a late entrant into this particular family, and the cause of one of its many fractures. David always greeted me openly, warmly and with interest. He always asked about my activities, latest business ventures and work. He never allowed others’ angst or resentment get in the way of his decency and graciousness. Today I heard that this was a characteristic of all his friendships. None of his relationships were marred by grudges or resentment.
The legacy of David’s life is such that divorced and bitter people who would rather not come together did so anyway. People who preferred not to speak to each other at least acknowledged each other. David was another reminder of how respect and interest in others creates solid regard and relationships. How authentic and congruent behaviour that is full of good will brings people together.
How much time is wasted on looking for flaws, being competitive and seeking someone to blame? How much time does it take to make an enquiry about someone’s well being and life?
I don’t waste time on resentment and grudges, but can too easily overlook little courtesies and displays of interest in others. Today I was reminded of how much return that little investment in others can be.
I’ll miss David.