Today, I attended the memorial services for a friend of mine. I arrived at the chapel early, but not early enough to get a seat inside. I would estimate that 200-300 people showed up to say goodbye to Matt. As a casual friend, I know that I haven't been hurting as badly as the friends and family that he held so close have been, but nonetheless, I felt a great feeling of relief and happiness to see how well attended his service was.
Having only been to one other memorial in my life, I consider myself very fortunate to not have had a very clear understanding of the nature of such a gathering. Things became clear today when I had a revelation – a memorial isn't meant to be a grim and morose occasion where one stews in miserable feelings of loss. Instead, it really is meant to bring comfort and closure through a demonstration of just how much love and respect surrounded the dearly departed in life, and especially in death.
Rest In Peace, Matthew Joel Mahoney. You were a really great kid, and I wish we could have shared more time together.
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