Last week I attended a memorial service for an acquaintance of mine who died suddenly, and while the experience of saying “goodbye” to someone is always sad, this particular service was heartening to me.
The man who died was a firefighter with the Sun Valley Fire Department and also an associate of mine at the Community School. Not only did several teachers and friends attend from those days when he helped out at school, but the firemen from Sun Valley came out in numbers to salute their former friend and wish him farewell.
An entourage of fire trucks and other vehicles, lights flashing, drove to the Hemingway memorial to send his wife off with his ashes to be scattered near one of their favorite hiking venues. She was accompanied by their dog and several people who also wanted to share that final hike. I was moved by the sense of community all of this exhibited: his co-workers, friends and the town he loved joining together to wish him farewell. …read more