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A fitting Send Off

So yesterday was Jeff’s memorial service.  It was an emotionally long day but a fitting and wonderful day.  I spent most of service trying to keep it together.  That was until the priest made a Dr. Who reference which bubbled up such a smile it burst out me.  The best part was the get together at his father’s home afterward.  It was so nice to be with his family and friends and see his comic strip on the wall and find out his father was an artist as well.  The food was perfect.  I spent most of it trying to keep myself together as well.  I couldn’t help but think if Jeff were here it would please him to no end that we were all together… all the people who mattered to him, helping each other and hugging and just being there.  We all needed it.  Jeff’s father is so much like him.  So sweet and of course they look alike which is always great to see.  Seeing family resemblance’s always surprises me.  It was one of the best services and wake I’ve ever been to because it was honest, heartfelt and full of love.  I’m pretty sure Jeff would never have expected such an amazing send off with so many people who love him.  I met one of his closest friends, Luciana and her mother.  She hopped on a plane from Brazil before she even knew whether the Facebook information was real or not.  Jeff was worth that immediate trip without a doubt.

After arriving home, Steve and I just sat there on the sofa.  Stilled stunned and bit exhausted from the day’s events.  I broke out the wine and cheese.  After a while of somberly doing our thing in our studios: putting in the half effort into anything that would get us away from the thing that took up our day,  I finally walked into his studio and quietly sat on his lap.  He said, “It seems so unfair doesn’t it.”  I sadly nodded, “yes…”  and then he added, “but think of all the people who were ripped off because they never got to meet him.”  There is that.  Steve is right.  Perspective is the great gift.  I suddenly felt like one of the lucky ones.  We are all so lucky to have known him, care about him and laugh with him.  I’m going to hold on to that.

I also learned something I didn’t know about Jeff. Erika, his fiance, mentioned to me that he was a bit saddened that I never asked him to sit for one of my oil painting portraits.  I didn’t ask him because I presumed he wouldn’t be interested.  I also assumed if he were, he would have said something.  Of course Jeff would have thought it would have been an imposition.  So how do we reconcile that?  Two friends, who didn’t say what they wanted about something that mattered.   I still have people in my life I don’t say, what I wished I could.  Perhaps there is a big lesson there.

Well, he apparently really wanted one and was continually waiting for me to ask.  Of course,  I would have gladly done his portrait had I known.  I am so honored to find out he wanted one. Of course, there is no reason why I can’t finally do him and his wish justice now.  I’m adding him to my portrait list.  I look forward to enjoying something wonderful with the painting experience.

As for today’s drawing – I drew last night but nothing really came to mind.  I just couldn’t get my focus.  So today I drew a dozen separate full size drawings while at the coffee shop.  Each is about 6 inches across.  I’ve photo-shopped them together into one work.  They are mostly just me trying to relax and get my bearings after a long emotional week.  The one thing that’s great about them?  Jeff would have loved these and he would have sent me a link to some cool artist somewhere that has something similar for my entertainment.  I would have loved following that link.

Drawing out new ideas © Britt Conley

Britt : )

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