A Time to Grieve – A Time to Celebrate
A couple of weeks ago, a very colourful, dynamic character who has been a great leader in the local business community sadly died at his home. He had certainly lived life to the full, but in doing so his big heart always reached out to those in need of a little help and his charitable soul saw him dragging himself around such events as the Great South Run.
Yesterday I attended a networking group which he had created and chaired. Clearly the event was not in its usual format but his positive energy remained amongst the people in the room through which a whole range of mixed emotion was flowing. The sad news that the group could not go on in its present format was released and humorous anecdotes of the the life of this wonderful man where shared by those who knew him a lot better than me. Certainly I can remember, he was the one man who, through his drive, determination, wit and humour, made my transition from that of a marginally institutionalised squaddy to self-employed therapist a lot less daunting than it otherwise might have been. For that, I thank his spirit with all my heart.
Today, I attend his funeral. As an ex-serviceman, I have perhaps attended a few too many of these occasions, definitely borne too many “boxes” to their final destination. There will be grief and sorrow and of course this a perfectly normal human reaction to the passing of someone so dearly loved by his family and friends and respected by the many people who surrounded him in life. But, once he has been respectfully laid to rest it is time to celebrate his life, a time to consider his many achievements and how he touched the lives of so many. As I said before, I did not know him anywhere near as well as many, but I feel a sense of duty to pay my respects to him on this occasion. To give thanks for the small ways in which he helped me. Winston Churchill is accredited with a famous quote that, duly amended, I feel fits this man’s life perfectly:
Never, in the field of human commerce, has so much been owed, by so many, to just one man.
In the days, months and years to come, we will miss this colourful, charismatic character dearly. But in doing so we must celebrate the man he was and let his spirit and energy live on in the hearts of the many people he touched in his life.
Rest in Peace Jonathan Rose.