In Memoriam II

“Later of course we realized that such a day-brightener as Alex wouldn’t want to be held close by grief. Now I see him best when I grieve him least.”

William Sloane Coffin in Letters to a Young Doubter

My dear Garrett,

I can’t believe it has been two years. In some ways the memories of that day are still so raw, maybe even permanently chiseled in my soul. Yet in other ways much has happened in the last two years. We have celebrated the arrival of your brother Nate, baptized him, and are now amazed to see how much he has grown. Avery has become a great baseball player and we celebrate that legacy, your legacy in his life.

And then there was my move to a new church. Although excited there was some sadness that we would not be close to your parents and to our circle of friends. In the last year since the move we have realized time and time again that the bond we share is one that is stronger than miles in between and paralleled lives. Your leaving in some ways cemented what we knew was there long before.

I am not where Coffin is . . . I am trying to grieve you less. I am trying to honor you in my work each day. Then Sunday after Sunday I get on my knees and see little hands outstretched, little hands begging for a little bread. Little hands eager, open, ready, to hear the words “every time you eat this bread remember you are a beloved child of God.” And there you are, part of the great communion of saints that interceded for us and who gathers with us in the braking of the bread. So I am trying to let go and to celebrate your “day-brightedness” by grieving you less.

And then there are those that you have given life! Those understand Coffin well. Thanks to your gift of self others have found life when death was so near. So on this 2nd anniversary of your leaving us I celebrate life! I invite all those who want to make a difference to consider the giving of themselves in organ donation. I invite them to read your story and talk to their loved ones about this important issue.

Your mother sent us a text recently reminding us that in some ways we were all your godparents. What an awesome and honored place in your life! So I am thankful that I had the opportunity to remind you of the love of God for you, in a small way I did my duty as a godparent without even knowing it.

Thank you again for your constant presence, for the constant reminder that I am doing God’s work, for me, each day. I’ll see you soon!

Peace & much Love, Juan+

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