Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Reminder of Home

...In the Death of a Friend

I miss my brother-in-law. It’s weird. Sometimes I sort of forget that he’s gone, and I have this spontaneous urge to call him up. About six months ago during a time of extreme mental and emotional fatigue, I even had a fleeting moment driving home one day where I picked up my phone and actually started looking for his number. I remember having a vague notion that he had left and gone to a place where I hadn’t been able to talk to him for a while, but strangely, my weary mind suggested: “Oh! I could just call him!” And a half-second later I remembered that that number had been disconnected for months, and the quiet ache settled in all over again…

I wish I had some profound thing to say about all this, but I don’t. But that figures, because raw emotion is usually ineffable anyway. The closest emotional category I know to put it in is longing, but even that isn’t quite right. It’s deeper than normal longing, and heavier, but with tiny flecks of gratefulness and joy here and there, too.

There is a positive in all this, a silver lining around this dark cloud that has lingered on my horizon for so long. It always reminds me that I’m not home. I think C.S. Lewis is probably right when he says, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” (Mere Christianity)

Ed’s death is God’s reminder to me that something is dreadfully wrong here, but that thankfully, “here” is not my main address. I’m a traveler, one who has lost a dear companion on the journey, but one who knows that he’s not lost or fallen behind. He just beat me home.

His memorial service was 13 months ago today. My sister asked me to speak, and so, reluctantly, I did. These were my closing two paragraphs:

I recently read of a man whose wife passed away from an incredibly painful disease. Her suffering had been especially intense in her final days, and a few hours after it ended, her husband said to their pastor, “Pastor John, I think my wife suffered as much as Jesus did.” To which the pastor tenderly responded: “Perhaps. And if so, when their eyes met three hours ago, they didn't have to say much.”

That’s how I’ve imaged Ed’s home going. Face to face with Jesus, one of those broad Ed-Horn smiles, but not many words. One look said it all. And during their strong embrace, I have no doubt that Jesus put his lips to Ed’s ear and whispered: “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Welcome home."
I think I started this post out wrong. I put a period on that first sentence a little prematurely. After thinking about it a little more here, I guess it would have been more accurate to say, “I miss my brother-in-law… because he reminds me of home.”


Anonymous said...

Very good post. It made me tear up. I don't know the kind of pain that comes with losing someone you love but I'm very thankful that Ed's death, although painful, reminds you of Heaven and I'm glad that you share that with people. I also like your use of the word "ineffable" stmn.

kEllEy_G said...

Whew...tears when I read this. I miss him too...so much. There are so many times throughout each day where I think, "It'd be so nice to be able to bounce this off Ed to see what his thoughts are..." And the other day I just cried when I thought of how much Aidan & Kya have grown since he last saw them...he'd be sooo flippin proud of his kids. He is proud of them...I tell them that often. I'm so thankful you two had the bond of brother-friendship that you did. It makes being able to talk to you about him easy for me. You knew him about as well as I did...better than most. He loved you so much & respected you & sought your counsel before anyone else.

Anyway, yeah...I love you. Miss that you're not right here at my fingertips anymore. I miss just dropping by to see those kids & Aundrea during the day. I think I saw her more than I saw you...haha. Love you all. Much!

Unknown said...

Beautiful post, Josh, thanks. I was once again reminded of Edward earlier this morning and now yours. He is so very missed, but heaven is so much desired now, especially in light of the direction the world is headed. I love you too! Colorado, here I come!

Anonymous said...

I miss him, too.

Unknown said...

Really edifying entry, Josh ~ thank you for writing it.

Anonymous said...

So glad you could write about Ed. I know it's hard for you... I love you, Babe!


MadMup said...

I wish I had been able to know Ed better, largely because the little I did know him affected me so much. I can honestly say I don't think I'll ever forget him.

I rejoice that we got to know him and that he is with his Lord!