Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Simon (with thanks to Tuesdays with Morrie)

"So, what's new with you?"

"Well, my funeral was last week."

"Last week? But you're still..."

"Alive? Yes. But Simon Brink is not. He died. Today. Five in the morning. And at his funeral there will be all sorts of people saying all sorts of nice things about him, but he won't be there to hear to it."

"But that's how funerals are. No one expects to be at... Well, to hear their own funeral."

"Well, that's not for me. If people are going to say nice things about me I want to hear it. So I choose a date, I made a few phone calls, and I had a living funeral. You want to try it. All sorts of people saying all sorts of nice things about you, and you get to hear it. Now wouldn't that be nice?"

"Yes. But it's kinda embarrassing to tell people how you feel about em while they're... "

"Still alive? You know, that's what we did for Simon, a friend and I. We went to Australia; we visited with him. We told him we loved him. We swapped stories. It was great! It was sad. It was good. We had ourselves some tea and cake with him. And we said our goodbyes. Simon. We said our goodbye."

"Yes, but you knew he was going to die. That's why you went. What about the rest of us? We don't know how long we've got so we, well, we feel no need to tell others about how we feel about them."

"That's my point. If you wait until the final moment before you tell someone something nice about themselves, well, you better have great timing!"

"And we seldom do."

"We seldom do. So if you're hearing this now, and you are Simon's most loving younger brother, Anthony, or his beloved wife, Pauline, or his friend Aisha, or his friends you also know, like Justin and Mike and Rob, or some other dearest friend of all, then it is very necessary to tell you how much I love you, how much I care, how much I feel connected despite the distance and the years and the lack of communication. That's what to say to family, friends, loved ones. Because if I don't, we better have great timing."

"Simon said what he wanted to say? Simon had peace?"

"Simon was a man who saw great grace at the end of his days. He came to terms with his lot, and he gave great love. It was a sad but beautiful ending. His brother wrote: 'the extraordinary, beautiful Simon Brink, died peacefully away'. What a lovely phrase. What a powerful testament to the life of a man: extraordinary; beautiful. What more to say?"

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