Monday, November 24, 2014

A time to weep, and a time to laugh

Last week, I went to George Parkinson's funeral. I had seen him just a week earlier, and couldn't reconcile our recent conversations with the fact that he was gone. It's still hard for me to wrap my head around.

4th of July, 2013
It's hard to know where to begin with George. He was unequivocally himself. He was creative, and talented, and funny. We bonded early over our shared love of music. He first remembered me because I told our second grade class that my favorite band was Ace of Base. I first remembered him because he taught me how to suck the helium out of balloons and sing the munchkin song from Wizard of Oz. He jumped at any opportunity to share his talents, something that I hope to emulate. I wish that everyone could know him.

Campfire at George's, September 2012

The events of the past couple weeks have thrown me back in time.

I've relived my last moments with George in my head a thousand times.

I've pored through photos and videos, reminiscing over the past 20 years of friendship.

I've felt the familiar pangs of grief and mourned again for the loss of my dad.

Death is senseless. Even with a belief in a creator, it feels cruel. I'm trying to stretch my vision into something more eternal, but my perspective is still constrained. Despite that, I've been able to find moments of peace. I am blessed by kind, thoughtful friends with patient ears.

A moment from this weekend's escape at Jacob Lake
I know from experience that I will always miss George. That pain won't lessen with time; his loss will always be felt. There is little I can do, but honor his memory by trying to be more like him. I hope to make some major course corrections, and live my life with same passion that George did. My dear friend Linds has been sharing words of comfort and encouragement with us. I especially love this quote from one of the articles she passed along:
"Our Heavenly Father ... knows that we learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the trials through which we must pass. We know that there are times when we will experience heartbreaking sorrow, when we will grieve, and when we may be tested to our limits. However, such difficulties allow us to change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our Heavenly Father teaches us, and to become something different from what we were--better than we were, more understanding than we were, more empathetic than we were, with stronger testimonies than we had before." 
- Thomas S. Monson

Sending love to George, and love to you all.

1 comment:

  1. Love you so much Gretchen! Beautiful words about a beautiful person from a beautiful person:)