I attended the funeral of a friend yesterday. I hadn’t seen Lee in ten or more years, but I loved him, and I mourn the loss. Nothing, absolutely nothing compared to what his beloved daughter Abby is feeling, nor his brother Denny, who found him on the morning of July 13th. Lee passed away at home, due to complications from health problems he had suffered for years and years.
I couldn’t decide what to wear, and my husband, who planned on attending the service, could not be with me due to the demands of his work. As I put my makeup on (for the record, I loathe the stuff) memories began to surface. Lee was a lonely soul, and he had often confided in me while at our home, beer in one hand, cigarette in the other; he was afraid of dying alone, without a soul mate. Sadly, that is indeed what happened. He was only 62, and that added to the insurmountable grief that enveloped the room at Grose Funeral Home.
As I gathered my purse and car keys, I broke down. I choked out a sob, and thinking that was the end of it, I drove towards Myerstown, the heat beating the life force out of me. When you are in recovery, it is an absolute necessity to avoid people and places that trigger your need to imbibe. Dwain and myself have not seen many good friends for years, as this sobriety is our way of life, and we were die hard partiers, believe me. I ran into a few people that I know in my heart resent me, as they see me as someone who took my husband from them. What they do not and perhaps can not understand is this: my husband chooses not to drink, he will not attend a party without me, and I have zero, nada, nothing to say about his decision. He is a grown man and I do not tell him who to socialize with. Just because you don’t see a friend for years, well that has nothing to do with the love in your heart you will hold for them, forever.
I met my good friend Robin at the funeral. Thank God almighty for her presence, as she reminded me that this was a celebration of his life. What I did not expect? The tears flowed freely as I witnessed family members speak of their love for him. But the tears haven’t stopped, even though I know with all of my being that Lee is in heaven, I cannot help but think that we lost a good man, and for that I am deeply wounded.
In loving memory and tribute to Lee A. Yoder. Fly high my friend……fly high.