Memorial Service for Steve
Two days ago we heard shocking news. One of our community members – he’s called Steve – suddenly passed away at work. People guessed it was caused by heart attack.
He’s still pretty young, 48 years of age. He didn’t smoke. He was active and went to gym quite regularly.
He left his beloved wife and three children.
It was so devastating, both for his family and his friends he left behind. No one had ever thought he would’ve gone that quickly. You can imagine how his wife and kids felt when they heard the news… their loving husband & father, who said goodbye in the morning to go to work…and in the afternoon came back home in a box… It absolutely breaks anyone’s heart!!
My husband and I went to the memorial service for him yesterday afternoon. It was in the Community Hall.
A different atmosphere (hard for me to describe) was in the air when we walked into the hall. A lot of people — mostly the expatriates and their families (husbands, wives, kids) and Steve’s friends from work – filled up the room. Everyone wanted to show their respect to Steve. There I felt a very strong bond among the members of the community.
I did not see Steve’s wife. I think she’s so devastated that she could not go to the memorial service for her husband. The other two kids were not there either, one was home accompanying his mother and the other was in another country. Only one of their children named Khya was there. She’s so brave to be there… I took my hat off to that little girl…
After the Opening prayer, Amazing Grace song and Scripture Reading, some people delivered their speeches as the tributes to Steve… They recalled how beautiful Steve was as a man when he was alive, that he was a wonderful and loving father to his children, as well as a best friend and loving husband to his wife…
A lot of people in the room were crying during the tributes… including those delivering their speech in front. I myself couldn’t hold my tears rolling down from my eyes… A lady sat next to me did not stop crying from the beginning of the service. She kept saying how much she felt for Steve’s wife and children and how much she scared if the same situation happened to her family… (Well, that was what in my mind too.)
At the end of the memorial service, people gave each other big hugs. Everybody shared the feeling of losing their beloved one.
There again, I saw how beautiful our community was. Steve was not our family by blood, but he was our family in the community regardless.
During the memorial service and in our way home, I was forced to face the reality again…that life is so short. And I realized my turn would eventually come, I just don’t know when. Then I was thinking about what people would say about me in my own memorial service *with me watching them saying it from somewhere*… Would I be happy with the speech? Would I expect something else they should say?
It was a funny thought, I know. But then again it reminded me that there are still a lot of things I want to do while I’m still alive…something that would be beneficial not only for me but also for others…something people around me would remember when I come to the end of my days…
If everyone realizes that living in this world is not for forever, there should not be a lot of argument, fights or wars. Everyone should live together in peace, supports each other and enjoys every moment in their life. At the end of the day, everyone would leave this world, whether they like it or not… So, what are those arguments and fights and wars for? *do I sound a bit too religious here?*
To end my entry today, I quote what was written in the handout for Steve’s memorial service yesterday (both in NZ native language & English):
Haere Haere Haere Ra
Go in Peace…Go in Peace…
*in memorial of Steven Forrester, our friend, who passed away in May 20, 2010