Funeral for a Friend

I shared with you last week about my free-spirited friend Daniel dying far too young at 31. Yesterday was his memorial service, entombment, and 32nd birthday party attended by family and friends from all over the country. Shame he was not there to enjoy it and yet through all the folks that loved him he most certainly was there. From buddies, he grew up with to girls that had just met him last year everything spoken about Daniel was positive and loving, just like him.

The memorial service/mass was moving as his sisters and parents shared their memories, thoughts and love for Daniel. His cremains were then entombed in the churches columbarium in a beautiful courtyard on the grounds with his mother and father placing his urn into its final resting place. His mom later shared with me how odd it was that it had been 32 years ago to-the-day they had first placed Daniel into her arms. While it should have been her grieving last night, she was the one consoling the all the girls with broken hearts.

The evening held a celebration of Daniels life at a local pub attended by hundreds of people and just as many funny stories. It was wonderful hearing all the adventures of Daniel from all manner of friends from Colorado to California and beyond. His family enjoyed the stories most of all learning wonderful things about him and learning what a positive impact he had on all he met.

Another’s death may bring about self-reflection, assessment and contemplation of one’s mortality, in this case, it has been a process of learning much more about how Daniel lived on his terms touching people in a positive way as he lovingly made his way through life. Makes me miss him even more.

His family came up with a new slogan, and that is when faced with not knowing how to handle a particular situation, consider the motto WWDD What Would Daniel Do and then go for it. In most cases it would be to have fun, laugh and love everyone around you.

Be sure to take the time today to reach out to those you love and remind them of all they mean to you. Consider forgiving someone you haven’t, not to absolve them of their trespasses but to free you from the bondage created by unforgiveness. Please feel free to share this as you wish and Be Well!

I will see you Daniel on the flip side!

Daniel hotel Standard in LA April, 2014

Daniel hotel Standard in LA April, 2014

Only the Good Die Young

Receiving a call from a friend of mine on Wednesday afternoon, I was surprised to hear her husband’s voice on the phone and knew that something was amiss. He went on to state that her brother had flipped his car while driving out in California the night before and was killed. I dislike calls like that, and so it goes.

Daniel was just thirty-one and in those years, he likely lived a few lifetimes between Texas, Colorado, and California. His countless friends and loves have shared stories and tales of the life of Daniel, and the one consistent comment and fact is that Daniel is a free spirit. He was also loved by all who ever knew him.

His smile and hugs were always welcome as were the times spent talking with him, hanging out, catching up and dreaming out loud. He was a hair stylist, botanist and a real joy to all that ever spent time with or knew him. He is one of a kind, and the world is a bit less fun as a result of his leaving.

“We never know what we have until it is gone” could not be truer today than ever for me. I wish I would have reached out to him more and made sure to see him every time he was in town.

I used to call him Danielson, like Mr. Miyagi, and I guess I still will only without his smile in response. As the years pass death seems to be the one thing that still surprises me when it happens. We will all get a go at it one day, and I trust that what lies beyond is more amazing than we could ever imagine.

My heart breaks for his family and all the pain and grief they are experiencing, which is the norm and will somewhat pass over time. CS Lewis said, “The death of a beloved is an amputation.” In a sense it certainly is. To them, I say I love you, and we all share in your grief and miss knowing that Daniel is walking the Earth, just out of sight. He now knows all the truths about the universe.

Until we meet again Daniel, you will be forever missed. To my reader, make sure everyone you love knows it and may your weekend be a great one. Feel free to share and Be Well!

Daniel & Brett  2013

Daniel & Brett 2013