Wednesday, October 19, 2005

To a completed life *Tear*

Today was an absolutely devastating day for me. And I am sorry if things seem all over the place today, as at the moment I am grieving and sobbing away as I type...this is about as real of emotions as anyone is going to ever see out of me.

I had to say good bye to a close, dear friend and a man that was perhaps one of the greatest roll models anyone could have ever asked we celebrated his life today at the massive funeral held in remembrance of him.

It was a day of final goodbyes, and by-god it was one of the toughest days i have ever had to experience. Even sitting here now I am crying really hard. I never knew it was possible to feel as numb as i do at this moment. There is a hole in my heart that i know will never be replaced. Len came into my life at a time when i needed someone to guide me along the path of life. He showed me and taught me what Peace, Tolerance, Compassion, but abole all things, Love is. He accepted anyone and everyone no matter who they are or were. He preached the gospel, and when it was necessary he used words. He lived his life so completely and utterly devoted to the service of others that i cannot fully explain to anyone else what he trully meant to me. I mean, I cannot name one other person who had as much as a positive effect on my life as Fr. Len did. Anyone who came into contact with him was immediatly blown away by his unassuming manner and his love for God.

Today at the funeral, Susan and Jill joined me. We walked into the cathedral and within seconds we were overcome by grief and we all broke down. I have never known such feelings of mixed emotions before. I know he is gone, and I am saddened, yet I know he has finally joined the one being that he devoted his entire life to, and for that i am overcome with absolute joy. Yet the tears still flow without they are right now. We all took our seats, and in all my years of attending the mass at the cathedral i have never seen it so full as it was today. There will people stuffed in every corner, in every available space. There were people siting outside. I don't know if people can really comprehend the huge effect that Fr. Len had on the Calgary community. The fact that over 1,500 people showed up for just one man's funeral is completely mind boggling. It is simply a testimony of this man's greatness. As the choir and band struck up the first song the tears started flowing, and I was not the only one crying, but everyone in the church had tears in their eyes. There was not a dry eye in the entire cathedral. Then as the priests started their procession up the center aisle, the silence that fell over the crowd was amazing...the saddness of the whole thing was so heavy. Between Susan, Jill and myself we were constantly having troubles maintaining composure. It was the same story throughout the entire funeral. The Bishop was presiding over the ceremony, and he said that he felt humbled to have even been asked to preside by father Len himself. But perhaps what got to all of us was how the funeral was so like Father Len. There were no sad songs at all, they were all so happy and joyful, and we all knew that it was exactly what he would have wanted, and that thought touched all of us. Oh it was a day in which i wished I had some tissue...At the end of the mass, when we all said a final goodbye, everyone present broke down...I was a complete wreck, Susan was a mess, Jill was sobbing...and those around us as hard as they tried to crack a smile there were still tears rolling down the cheeks.

After the funeral, all of us who knew father len as teenagers all came together outside of the cathedral. For the first time in years we were all together, all united again. But this time instead of happiness we were all united in grief. Every hug turned into a sob fest. I know that I can usually control my grief, as I was able to maintain composure at my own grandmothers funeral. Yet today everything was was oh so very different. Everywhere anyone turned there were tears, yet through the tears there was laughter with the memories that were created with Fr. Len were all brought up again. Angelica and I ran into each other, everytime we have ever met before it was always with smiles, with laughs. But today it was with sobs. I was glad to have my friends all around me, yet even with them there was a person missing, and that one person was who we all were saying goodbye too. There is sadness. There is grief, and then there is devastation. Devastation is the only way to describe today.

"Behold he comes riding on the clouds, shining like the sun at the trumpet call. So lift your voice, it's the year of jubilee, and out of Zion's hill salvation comes..."

Father Len, why did you have to be taken, there is still so much work that needs to be done, so many people that need to be ministered too...i am one myself. Oh why, why, why...thank you for everything you did for me. thank you for everything you ever did for my friends. Thank you for allowing us to be so carefree and showing us what it means to love one another. You are so missed already, oh so very missed. As the Bishop said "...his journey and work are now complete; and for him, this is a day of glory, a day of rejoicing..." and in that we take comfort knowing that Fr. Len is so unbelievably happy right now that we can't help but feel joy at knowing that. Yet those of us left behind...its so hard. Father Len! Thank you, and Goodbye! Until we meet again in all the glory that is the heavenly kingdom. You will never be forgotten, and you will be forever missed. And as you always said...Praise God! For your work here is done, your eartly mission has been completed. Let the walls be broken down, let love reign the day...Father Len. I am so glad that you have been welcomed into Christs Kingdom, and for that I rejoice. And so, until we meet again, watch over us, protect us, and I shall look forward to the day in which we will greet each other once again in the name of love...

"I'm trading my sorrows, I'm trading my shame, I'm laying them down for the joy of the Lord. I'm trading my sickness, I'm trading my pain, I'm laying them down for the joy of the Lord..."


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