Monday, April 29, 2019

REST IN PEACE, JOSEPH THOMAS (TOM) BUTLER, JR (1938 - 2019)

St John's Episcopal Church in Thibodaux, Louisiana, knows how to do a wonderful funeral. The service and music on April 6, 2019, were lovely. The organist, LaDonna, played both organ and piano beautifully. Fr Stephen's sermon was perfectly suited to the occasion, especially so, since the first time he met Tom was when he was in the hospital and most certainly not at his (Tom's) best. Nevertheless, Stephen captured the essence of Tom's humanity in the reflections on the meaning of his life and death for all of us who knew him.

Thanks to all the people at St John who contributed to make the service and reception following a comfort to me and my family and all who attended. The flowers were gorgeous. The two large arrangements of white roses, baby's breath, and greenery on the altar were moved to the scatter garden after the service. In the Episcopal church, with exceptions for funerals, only greenery is used on the altar during Lent. Along with Tom's picture and the urn holding his ashes, I took the small vase of flowers home with me. The scent of the white roses and another smaller vase with red roses filled the family room when I took them home.

Many thanks to all who were present at the visitation and funeral. While Tom was alive, I did not fully realize he touched and inspired so many throughout his life. It's bittersweet for me that only after Tom's gone do I understand the breath and strength of his friendships with people of different ages and how he will be missed.

Though I'd rather not end my post on Tom's funeral with regret, I'm at the end, and it is with a touch of regret.

4 comments:

  1. Sounds like a very fine man who will be missed by many, and not least by you and the children. May he rest in peace and may you be comforted by loving memories.

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    1. Thanks, Russ. I miss Tom terribly, but he was suffering his last three months, and especially during his final three weeks. I would not have wished more time for him in his condition. That made it easier for me to let him go. He is at peace now.

      With Tom's physical presence gone, not being able to see him, talk to him, or touch him, it's really hard, but I think I'm going to be okay.

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    2. I'm sure you will. The loss of a mate leaves a void in us that can never be filled again; but after a dark night of grief and reflection, we somehow learn to live with it and to enjoy life again - for joy cometh in the morning. Bless you.

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    3. So very sorry for your lost, June.

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