The service, eclectic, with a core flowing from David's Judaism--guided warmly and gently, with deep caring, by his Rabbi, who is a woman-- was an immense gathering (for Rochester), filled with great love and sorrow and the stunned feeling that comes when someone passes away suddenly.
But what a tribute to a life of only 58 years, that so many people from so many walks of life-- as someone said, hippies and members of old Rochester families, motorcycle people and businesspeople, farmers and what used to be called "summer people" were David's friends.
I felt very glad to be able to be among the love and remembrance that was present there. As in Cicero's oration on Friendship, love and loyalty to David added a "glory to the life of the survivors." Judy's quoting Whitman: "I sing the body electric..." -- and a beautiful Dylan Thomas poem by a cousin of David's from the city-- were perfect for the moment of time and timelessness in which we were all present.
People were telling stories of David's life-- his mischief, his sense of humor, his goodness and love to his children and his parents. I remembered one moment, but didn't speak of it because so many wished to speak, and it was just a small moment. But it was special. Years ago, David and Judy came to a party at Quarry Hill, some of which was held in my house. People were gathered upstairs, but Judy and David were downstairs in the kitchen. And from the top of the stairs I heard them speaking in words of love to each other and kissing. It was so sweet-- I didn't want to eavesdrop, but I also didn't want to interrupt them. It stands out for me as a moment of the love that was, and is, between the two of them.
And then today, saying farewell to someone who was a friend of the whole town, and of many others.
David's rabbi, spoke at the end of the service of the importance of the year ahead, and of the time it takes to get beyond such a loss. I have not lost a husband (though as our friends know, we have been very close to the edge of that loss-- so far, we've been fortunate). However, my brother also died in his sleep in 2008. I think it takes longer, if anything, to come back to the surface of life; but I was glad that a baby is soon to come into their family. Sorry David won't be there in his physical presence to be with the baby, but glad that there will be a baby to open the future and to embrace the family in greater and greater love.
I am glad I was there, as George Fox says. "Now I am clear, I am completely clear."
Gratitude to David and his family for making us welcome there, and all our love to them.