When you are dead, your friends family will never know your secrets. They will never know every road you traveled, every person you encountered. Even if you write a biography, a memoir, your full path will never be known. Secrets sounds so dirty but it could be not a secret but just an experience you had and it is just part of daily life experience; nothing secret about it, or nothing dirty about it. It is not a secret by design but just a part of their experience where you were part of and folks are not part of the experience. So when you are giving the Eulogy of the person lying in the casket, all done up with make up, dressed to the nines and filled with some kind of fluid, you will maybe touch on one minute of their whole life. Don't feel bad. No one can know everything about everyone.
When my Son hanged himself, did the suicide, I was really messed up and a mental wreck. It was not a good time and friends saw me. My friend took me to a Monastery in Abbotsford, British Columbia. My friend, a Romanian who left Romanian during the Communist era) was friends with the Archbishop at the Monastery. The Archbishop of the Orthodox Church at the time was Most Reverend Lazar (Puhalo). My friend is not a holy roller or anything like that but the Rev. Lazar was there for my friend Sorin when his wife got Cancer and died, September 11, 2000 (one year before the infamous 911 attack, so a date which is very public every year). My friend developed a friendship with the Archbishop. Lazar is one of those priests who is not just holy roller, and continuously spreading the "word." He published a number of writings of scientific and sexual topics. So he goes beyond the "normal" Biblical readings and discussions. Lazar went against the main church regarding sexuality. We went visit him one afternoon and I had the chance to sit with him. He told me about his Son, Junior ( I found it strange a priest had a son). We sat in Lazar office and he told me: "Junior came here in the office, kissed me on the head and told me he loved me. He walked out of the office and I heard a shot. I went out and held my son as he was dying." Lazar told me, "we are so arrogant to believe we were the only ones to have influence on our child's life." The reason he said this (I think) was because I told him that it was me who killed my son. It was my ways, the way I brought him up and everything else I must have done to him. It never occurred to me my son had many interactions, many experiences and many life connections. So I will never know all the factors involved in my Son's life and the effects it may or may not have had on him. I will never know and always ask why? The connection I had with Lazar is one I remember but whether or not he remembers is not in my control, or my business. Lazar gave me the last Cross his son had made while at the monastery. It is a little wooden cross with the extra cross in it. I still have it.
I told my Mom about the visit I had with the Archbishop while I was in British Columbia. My Mom mentioned to the Reserve priest this one time about my visit with an Archbishop. My Mom's was in the hospital for Cancer. Our family went to visit her there and the Reserve Father came as well (Catholic Priests are referred to as Father). I was in the hospital room with my Mom and I told her, Father (Filipino) was there to see her. I came out of the room and told the Father "my Mom wants you to come in and do your Holy stuff (as I made a cross in the air with my hand)." The Father went into the room and I followed him in. My Mom told him "this is my boy, he met the Archbishop (although it was Orthodox Church). My Mom was proud of me. I looked at the Father and said "Me and God are like this (I crossed my fingers)." The Father said "I'll ask him." Connections we have so many.
I watched a video clip of the comic actor Billy Crystal giving a sermon, a eulogy for the Greatest of All Time, Muhammad Ali. Can you believe it? Billy Crystal had connections with Muhammad Ali. A Jewish comedian, a white guy had a relationship with the Greatest of All Time, a Black Muslim Boxer. His connections were brought into the public view when Crystal spoke about their relationship. When I first saw this video I was a little skeptical but then who the heck am I to doubt a relationship I have no idea about it. The doubt of someone's connection to other's is an attack. Why do we do it? Do we not want someone to have something we don't or do we only want it for our own?
I have been thinking about friends, acquaintances who I have connected with throughout the years. Quite a few of them have died. Many of those I had a small connection with while others I shared a friendship. There are secrets we shared, well not really secrets, but rather they are connections only me and those dead people know about. Anyway they are dead, so now only I know about them. I am finding as I grow older I reflect more and more on the connections I have had. I wonder when I die if there are going be those who had connections with me? Connections that maybe I have forgotten or don't reflect on?
If we had a connection I sincerely hope it was a good experience and not one where I am a jerk in the recollection. Still life is like that, we made good connections, ugly connections and some connections where it meant nothing.