To be joined by so many friends—near and far, new and old, bodily and in spirit, family members and those we’ve never even met– was an honor for us last week. We realize that commemorating the one-year anniversary of someone’s death is uncommon in our culture, and is probably considered morbid or masochistic by many. But we’d known a few friends who had done it, and even more people had recommended it, and so we asked our generous friends from church to plan something for us (since they had offered to do so many times over the past year).
The result was an indulgence quite beyond words. The evening included many elements, and many things were said, and many gifts were shared (readings, prayers, flowers, an unexpected painting, photos, and a bag of dirt from The Awakening were among the many mementos from the evening). But more than anything else, it was a chance to be surrounded by people who share in our grief, and who remind us that the life of William Addison Stavlund was significant. I’m humbled, and grateful.