Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Jeff’s Memorial Service, and Why I Can’t Go

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Folks, this is a terrible thing.  I’ve been struggling all week with the fact that my friend Jeff Wilson is dead, that I’ll never be able to help him again, that I’ll never hear his voice again . . . and now, I can’t go to his memorial service, either.

The problem is very simple: the money isn’t there.  I really want to go.  I feel terrible that I can’t go.  I want to be around people who knew Jeff at least a little bit — people who will understand why I feel so awful that he’s gone in a way my family can’t, my friends can’t (except for the very few who knew Jeff at all) — and it’s not going to happen without a major miracle (like winning $500 tonight in the state lottery; while I do have a ticket — I always played my numbers when Michael was alive, and I’ve continued to play them — I know how unlikely it is that I’ll win just the amount needed to go to Colorado at the absolute last minute).

Now, I suppose a major miracle is still possible and if so, I will be glad to come back here and say that if it happens.  I know I prayed all week and hoped that somehow, in some way, I’d be able to get to Jeff’s memorial.  But it’s in Colorado; I live in Wisconsin, and that’s the only reason I hadn’t already found a way to get out there and visit Jeff during the last five weeks of his life — while he fought a major medical crisis, looked to all concerned as if he’d turned the corner, was getting better and was sent to a nursing home for long-term rehabilitation and care — and then he died.

I know that Jeff wouldn’t care where I mourn him.  That’s not the point.  The point is that I wanted to be there so others who didn’t see Jeff in the same way I did would know to look for his good qualities.  As I’d said before, Jeff’s personal situation was far less than stellar.  Some people only view life in materialistic terms and don’t see that a life well-lived, where there’s a great deal of personal growth going on and a deeply spiritual outlook to boot, is one that’s worth living.

Jeff was poor in material things, except for books and his cats.  But he was rich in everything else.  That’s why I wanted to be there, so I could counter some of the materialism I was likely to find at his memorial service; Jeff wasn’t someone who had a big career or job or any money at all, but he was a wonderful person.

At any rate, I will never forget Jeff Wilson.  Never.  And I guess that’ll have to be enough for me, even though it surely doesn’t feel like it right now.


Edited to add:  Jeff’s memorial service has been called for 3 p.m. on Monday in Fort Collins, CO.  He will be cremated, which was his wish . . . and the memorial service is to be held on what would’ve been Jeff’s 48th birthday.  That’s yet another reason why I wanted to go, even though I have a plethora of reasons as it is.  (As I’m sure you saw.)

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 19, 2011 at 9:58 pm

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