I sat in the pew of a familiar church, the church I had grown up in. The Stations of the Cross hanging from the walls reminded me of evenings spent in religious education classes, visiting each station and hearing the stories. I remember sitting in those same pews, waiting for my turn for my first reconciliation, communion, for the baptism of my siblings and my nephews, sitting through many weddings, and funerals. The faint scent of incense brought me back to my own grandparents’ funerals.
My eyes kept going to a tall man sitting two rows in front of me. The hair on his head, shiny and white, like untouched snow. Every few minutes, he lifted his glasses with one hand and used his handkerchief to wipe his eyes, before settling his glasses again.
I wondered what his connection was to this funeral. To this man. The dad of my friend.
A few rows in front of the man with the snow white hair, sat my friend, sandwiched between her mom and her husband. At one point, the priest spoke directly to them. He told them to look around, at all the lives brought together by the life built by one man. My friend and her family didn’t look back. I wondered if they knew how many people sat behind them, the church nearly full.
The rest of the day, I was left wondering about this, about the impact one life can have. It also made me think that we shouldn’t wait until someone is gone to show them and let them know they have touched our lives.