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Past Updates

Apr 03, 2005
A Friend Died This Week

Grief has made the front page. It will be there all week. For the world has lost a great person, Pope John Paul II. This week we will have the opportunity to say good bye to a great person of courage, faith and passion for Jesus Christ.

I hate saying good bye. I have never liked it. The son of a man who worked for the US Army, we moved a lot. I didn't like that either. Each move meant more good byes. Often friends would gather at the snack shop for a final good bye meal and then we would rip a dollar bill in half. We would say, next time I see you we will tape this together and buy a drink (that was back when a dollar would buy two drinks). I still have a few of those half dollars--worthless in monetary value, priceless in memories. How about you? Robert Kocker, do you have yours? Curt Ring? Mike Driver? Names of young men, now all but forgotten.

Each time we say good bye it seems to touch that place in us where all the good byes are stored, all the pain kept. Just touching that spot opens our hearts to the vast pain that lies in there.

I said good bye today to another friend. She had, in the words of her pastor, "run the race, fought the good fight, finished the course." What an honor to have those words spoken about a life. As I sat in that memorial service thinking of my friend, I thought of my many Catholic and Christian friends who would be saying good bye to a friend this week.

Heaven got two this week I wished we could have kept. I know heaven got a lot more than two--but these two I am sure about. They "fought the good fight, they finished the course."

A friend died this week. Heaven is blessed! We are left grieving. Long after it is front page news, some of us will still grieve. Some of us will rejoice. Some of us will do both.