After the most amazing night at Barrister Ball [post forthcoming as soon as I get more pictures!], I had errands to run today and then a memorial service to attend.
While we were on vacation at Disneyworld, I got word that a former colleague of mine had passed away. He was quite young, only 41, so everyone was rather shocked.
I worked with Brad when I interned at the Repertory Theatre while I was a senior in college. I saw him quite a bit going to see shows over the next few years and he always had a smile on his face and was just happy to be in the theatre.
Today's memorial service had memories from friends and co-workers plus a video at the end from a storytelling event at SXSW Festival last year. He told the story of "His Second Time" - when he saw a professional theatrical performance by himself in New York and it made him want to become a theatre professional.
As wonderful as the service was, it was something else that got my attention. The service was held at the theatre where Brad worked and the set for their current show was still up. The set consisted of a fake proscenium arch with some balconies constructed above the stage. I'm not familiar with the show but I guess actors must have to use these balconies because there were chairs there... and they had set the lights up just right that a spotlight illuminated the balcony to the right. There was a tie draped over the chair and a reserved sign on the chair. It took me a moment to realize it was Brad's favorite Christmas tie - he always wore crazy and bright ties to almost any theatre performance.
When I saw that, I almost lost it. I've ALWAYS been a crier - doesn't matter if it's a sappy commercial or just some random thought. I tend to cry at the drop of a hat. But the sight of Brad's tie on that chair lit by a spot on the stage that he loved to promote was just too much.
Throughout the service, I kept thinking about the Ecclesiastes verse that you usually hear at most Christian funerals:
Even though we can reflect on verses like this, I'm not sure it makes it easier to handle the passing of a dear friend.
Ecclesiastes 3To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.