What I Learned This Weekend
Rob and I spent this weekend in DC attending a memorial service for our friend CAM. It is hard to explain the weekend and I know that my thoughts will not do it justice. The first words that come to mind are sadness yet joy, tears yet laughter, confusion yet comfort.
Both CAM and his wife Becky graduated from college with Rob and me so I knew that we were going to reconnect with many people. What I hadn’t realized was quite how far CAM’s reach had been. We joined 1,000 people in the church and hundreds more who watched the service streaming live on the internet to celebrate the life of this amazing man. We joined CAM’s family, his work colleagues and friends from so many corners of his life. We joined with friends we see often, some we have not seen in months, others in years and still others since graduation. Tonight, we realized that every single one of Rob’s groomsmen were there.
Speakers talked of CAM’s love, his generosity, his humor, his golf game, his drum playing and his incredible faith. But the theme that we heard over and over again and was so evident in the room was CAM’s ability to connect people and to build relationships. One speaker joked that he always thought that he was CAM’s best friend but as he looked around the room, he imagined that many people in the room thought the same thing. That was CAM. That amazing ability to make everyone he touched feel that special and that loved.
CAM was our age and his children are the age of our children. It was inevitable that attending this service would make me think. While we all spent much time laughing and crying as we heard stories and watched an amazing video montage of our friend, how could we not think about ourselves? How could we not want to be more like CAM?
After the service, we all gathered for dinner and the remembrances continued. We all promised to do better about staying in touch. We promised that we would no longer only gather at weddings and most unfortunately, funerals. We all said that CAM would want us to do just that.
My hope is that after this weekend, we all hold up our promises. I hope that my relationships with the friends we saw this weekend will continue to grow. Because CAM would want us to do that. I hope that I do a better, more CAM-like job of developing friendships in my daily life. I hope that I remember that it takes work to develop these relationships and that the work is worth doing.
Rest in peace CAM and thank you for all you taught me this weekend.
Beautiful, Stacey. Just beautiful. So sad to read about the loss of such a vibrant human being, but perhaps his spirit lives on in you, and so many others.
Thank you Kathleen.
I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve lost a good friend at such a young age. The one silver lining I’ve been able to find when someone dies at a young, too early, age is that, if nothing else, we can visibly see how much that person touched the lives of those around him. It’s often quite a contrast to when someone dies in their mid-90’s (or later) because they are often one of the few remaining in their circle of friends and family. For some reason I find solace in that, maybe because it also serves as a reminder (especially when we are of similar ages to the deceased) that we too are likely living among a similar web of love and friendship. I know I have a tendency to forget that in this day and age of “busy-ness” when we don’t connect with others as often as we used to. I’m glad you were able to honor your friend by being there.
That’s so true Kristen. Being able to see all of CAMs loved ones honor him in this way was really incredible.
Well said, Stacey! I was feeling many of the same things about the weekend. I think it was just as CAM would have wanted it to be!
Thank you Elizabeth! It was such a sad weekend but it was great to see you and Brian!
This is beautiful!
Thank you Kim!
Such beautiful thoughts about a beautiful life lost. So sorry again about your friend. I’ve had those moments at funerals in which I have realized more about who I want to be, and how I want to be better.
Thank you Tamara. It really was such a thought provoking service.
just beautiful! sounds like he was an amazing person. consider yourself lucky to have been his friend! xoxo
Thank you Julia! I’m looking forward to seeing you and David at the end of the month 🙂
I’m so sorry…losing someone too young is so hard. Whenever you’re feeling sad about him, remember this post and reach out to one of your mutual friends to talk about it or just to catch up. His memory will not be forgotten!
Thank you Sarah!
Stacey, this is such a beautiful, brave post. And a tribute to CAM. He sounds like an amazing person who touched many lives.