My husband David and I just went to a memorial service for our friend Jon, who died suddenly just over a week ago. Jon was not a close friend, but someone we have gotten to know over the years through our kids' school and extracurricular activities, and because he frequented the same morning coffee spot that we do. I liked him a lot--he was funny and devoted to his kids and always greeted me warmly and asked about my kids. Whenever I would run into Jon, he was happy to see me. He made my day brighter. That's no small thing, in my opinion.
During the service, many of Jon's close friends and family spoke movingly, at length, about his life and their love for him and his for them. Then the pastor asked if anyone else had anything to add about Jon and what he meant to them. One of Jon's neighbors got up, cleared his throat, and spoke into the mic. Afterward, David and I talked about what he said, and agreed that it was our favorite of the eulogies offered. It made me think about the ways in which we all have an effect on the people we interact with on a daily and weekly basis, and not just those who are our family and closest friends. I wrote a poem based on this neighbor's short, sweet eulogy to Jon.
I didn’t know him
as well as or as long as
the rest of you did
we both loved our dogs
when he would walk his dog
past my driveway
my dog would go crazy
I would grab the leash
and come out to meet him
and the four of us would walk together.
He was easy to talk to and interested in my life.
He brought a lightness to my day.
I will miss him.