Jarrod James King (1960-2010)

This letter was written the night of Jarrod’s funeral on September 12th 2010, it is only being made public now at the most ardent request of the one person I showed it too…  who shall remain nameless.

Dear Jarrod,

We buried you today. Not buried in the literal sense, as you were cremated, but in the figurative, metaphorical sense. Today was your funeral, and it was one of the most agonizing experiences I have ever endured.

A number of people got up and spoke on your behalf, saying a few words in parting, and sharing out of the abundance of their love for you. Though few spoke with any eloquence, they all spoke the truth with sincerity and passion. I can think of no truer eulogy for you.

When all had spoken their piece, it was my turn to try to offer some slim encapsulation of your person…  a final testament, I suppose. But I found the task more than I could handle.

So much of who you are, and what you experienced flooded my thoughts. I felt like, no matter what I would say, it would only scratch the surface. Or that some would feel left out in the mentioning.

Of course, both of these happened despite my efforts, I suppose this is why a eulogy is a fool’s errand. For no man can be so summed up in an hour’s refrain, and certainly not one such as yourself.

“…my heart’s like an open book, for the whole world to read,
sometimes nothing keeps me together at the seams…”

Jarrod, we miss you terribly. You’ve been gone less than 48 hours and yet it seems like a lifetime has passed.

Ever since your passing early Friday morning, I have felt a hollowness inside. A strange soreness, as though I have been punched in the stomach. I have no appetite, and things appear almost unreal.

I am mourning, but also still in unbelief.

We have had our share of absence o’er the years, but there was always correspondence or telephone by which one could easily reach the other. I look at my phone and see texts you’ve sent and voicemails you’ve left. It’s strangely galling.

There’s a Facebook status you left a few days ago with the foreboding assurance of “recent developments” and an update to follow…  which never came.

Your life appears to have trailed off into silence, leaving a gradually dimming echo.

Where are you, my friend, will I ever see you again?

“…tonight, tonight, I’m on my way
just set me free, home sweet home…”

Were you and I to have this conversation via some means of the Spirit, by which one could commune with the recently departed, I suppose this would be the point where you gave me a good smack. Deservedly so.

Despite my mourning laments, I know of your heart in surrendering to the One who holds life and death in His thrall. I know you belong to Him, out of Whose hand none can dare snatch away.

The vile cancer you so valiantly struggled with these last few years have been purged under the purifying gaze of the Creator. You have been resurrected even as He was resurrected.

While the rest of us awoke to the glimmering rays of sunlight on Friday morning, it was the radiant face of God you beheld and the company of Jesus Christ you enjoyed.

Pain remains for us left to soldier on, but your weary walk has ended.

We shall all neither forget you nor cease loving you.

Fare you well, my friend, we shall meet again.

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