Sad Trip

I am taking a sad trip this morning.

I’m flying to Austin, Texas so that I can preside at the funeral of my nephew, Christopher Davis. Christopher was only 32 and was struck by a car while riding his bicycle early Sunday morning. He died on the way to the hospital. You can read his obituary here.

No one should have to read or write their own child’s obituary. But now my oldest brother Harvey has done just that.

Back in November of 2006, I had the eulogy for my father’s memorial service. That was an honor, to be sure, but his death was neither tragic nor unexpected — he was 95.

I’ll be leading this one as well, with help from several of Christopher’s friends and band mates, and also a word from my 92 year old mother. As I’ve said here before, I believe that funerals are to give expression and permission. They are occasions for the eulogist to articulate things that many in attendace are feeling but can’t yet speak — that’s expression. And they are sacred times to let people know that grief — in this case, heart-wrenching grief — is natural, normal, and healthy. That’s permission.

I’ll be back in Charlotte on Friday.