The Pain Passes
"The pain passes, but the beauty remains". --Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
"Mourning is one of the most profound human experiences that it is possible to have... The deep capacity to weep for the loss of a loved one and to continue to treasure the memory of that loss is one of our noblest human traits".-- Shneidman (1980)
Someone dear to me left the planet last week. It was, (once again) sudden and unexpected.
He was a man I met through business contacts. But then he turned out to be one of the most profoundly loving and giving people I have ever met.
Sometimes in life, we meet someone who changes the course of our life. Sometimes by circumstance, sometimes by the sheer force of the life they live in front of us.
Noel, my friend, left a legacy of profound love, charity and giving. He, along with his lovely wife, literally changed the world.
They changed the world. They feed the hungry and clothed the naked and took care of the widows.
Everything Jesus asked us, as His followers to do.
Noel built schools in Ethiopia, and fed the hungry of Denver, and along the way drug thousands of us along with him, asking us.............."what are you doing?"
In the most profound mystery of it all, we find out that he took his own life.
How is this possible? The man with the twinkling blue eyes and the the Irish brogue? The man with the biggest heart I've ever witnessed?
What level of despair could he have faced that took him to that moment?
I have no answers and my heart is broken.
On Friday I will join the many, many friends of this amazing man and celebrate his life in one of the cathedrals of Denver.
None of it seems real.