Tomorrow I'm doing the funeral for a good friend.
That is one of the hardest things I do as a priest.
I've performed over 500 funerals in my time. Many of them were people I either didn't know or knew only briefly.
Good friends is a different deal all together.
T. was one of my favorite people at St. John's in Waterbury. Full of life and humor and wonder at being alive.
And now he's dead--just about the age I am.
And I'm doing his funeral tomorrow.
Deep breath....exhale....try to relax.
His wife, who I love dearly, will be there in the front row.
That makes it even harder.
I haven't seen them for 8 years since priests are supposed to cut ties with people in a parish they leave. (Another rule Dangerous Mystics and Spiritual Rebels should stand up against.)
But the absence has made the heart grow fonder.
It will be a hard day for me tomorrow.
Pray for me.
And for T. as he goes gently into that good night.