I knew him as a friend. My kids knew him as Uncle Jack. Others knew him for his smile and hugs – others for the amazing cakes he baked and decorated or the chocolates that melted in your mouth. Others remembered stories when music and drumming competed for his time in the culinary arts. However you knew him, his loss was felt by everyone.
We came together to celebrate a life that touched each of us deeply. We came to mourn a special person who met many adversities with determination and resolve and a smile that never went away. He lived life with passion – a passion to create pastries and chocolates you would never forget and a passion for family and people. And by his side was a wife who worked, lived and breathed the same passion. Their love was great – her grief will be deep.
Today we think of funerals as celebrations. Some are. Others fall short. But this last Sunday 400 or more people gathered to cry, laugh and share stories. They came not to celebrate his many achievements, but to celebrate the person – the Jack who reached out to everyone leaving an indelible imprint on their lives forever. When we left the church full of memories and the residue of cake and frosting on our fingers, we carried in our hearts a bit of Jack that will stay forever.
Goodbye, Jack, until we come to join you in our Lord’s kingdom.