23 April 2014

We Just Can't Ever Know

Dales memorial was Monday and it was equal parts sad and comforting.  It provided one of my favorite examples of fellowship in a non-churchy way. We spent most of the day with our friends, reminding me that these events are for the living and not necessarily for the dead. Although I do hope that somehow Dale saw that hundreds of people showed up in his honor yesterday.

Seeing our friends dressed up was really nice for a really lousy reason.  Everyone was so handsome! Our friends own suits! By the way, Canadians dress semi-formally for memorials, lots of suits and dresses.  (Us 'Mericans still looked nice but not in suits.)

The speaker addressed the suicide issue directly. It was jarring at first but comforting by the end.  He made the point of shining the light on it made it an easier burden for everyone to bear.  Also, how we have to talk about these things as humans so that the fear/pain/sadness doesn't win.  Finally, he talked about how people perceive suicide differently, either as cowardly, or desperate, or a decision of control, and that there is no right answer or perspective.

We were all struck by how often we just know a person in a certain setting or in a certain light.  In our case with Dale, it was at the racetrack. For others who knew Dale, he was an employer, or a childhood friend, or from his other hobbies (body-builder! who knew!)  It just brought into perspective how rare it is that we completely know a person; unless it's a spouse and even then there are surprises.  We were seeing many folks out-of-context instead of just at the track or track related events. We didn't know that Mig speaks Portuguese fluently until recently, for instance. No one knew that Dale was struggling as hard as he was.We can just never know everything about a person.

There was a gathering at his brothers house afterward.  We spent most of our time with him and other friends in the shop, talking cars, as would be appropriate if we were just there for a regular visit.
 If only...

Godspeed, Dale.

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