The passing of Don has been one of the single most painful events in my life. I’ve cried more in the last 8 days than I have over a year at a time. It feels as if I had a part of my body torn away, and this in part is the reality.
Don and I had a history of over 17 years together. We moved from acquaintances, to friends, to brothers and then to something much closer than blood: members of one Body. Don was a beloved member of the Body of Christ. I am not speaking of one who just sat next to me in a pew; I am talking about a body member united in Christ. He was as close as he could possibly be, for we were knit together in Jesus. He was part of me and I was part of him.
The reality of this is amazing and completely hopeful. We were altogether one, and his passing feels as if I suffered a great loss. The actuality though is that we are still unified in Christ today as much as yesterday. Neither he nor I have left, we simply don’t have the pleasure of hugs and speaking and sharing meals. But as a Body, we are not separated at all. He is still in Christ and so am I. This brings me tremendous comfort and joy.
I will always love Don and with gratitude I say, “Thank you, Father, for letting us share our journeys together.” We walked together and grew together. I saw him meet the Father and emerge as a child. He left this world as one who laid down, not as one who amassed. The freer he got and more child-like he became, the more natural was his passing from here into the arms of his loving Father.