This service has never been performed. The names included are placeholders. The proceeding was written for a professional in the industry.
Good afternoon. My name is Paul and, on behalf of Michael J. Lewis, or Mike as so many of you knew him, I want to extend a sincere thank you to everyone attending this service today.
Many of us are going through a difficult time right now. The family and friends of Mike are facing a pain that most people can only fear. The unexpected and untimely loss of our friend and loved one has taken a toll – one that cannot easily be revoked. The reverberations of this pain will continue for years to come. But today, we have gathered to focus on acceptance and celebration.
The purpose of our service is to remember Mike’s life and his impact on every single person in this room – as well as people who could not be here. His influence on this community is greater than he likely ever knew, and we are here today to represent our appreciation of the memories we shared with him.
Today, we gather to reflect on the life of Mike. Though it was far too short, we are left with beautiful recollections of happy days, adventures, and experiences that we will hold close to our hearts forever. These are Mike’s gift to us.
As we acknowledge the passing of Mike, we extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to those who are left to mourn his death. To Jamie and Rebecca, who have lost their father, to Molly, who has lost a beloved husband, to Patrick and Louise, who have lost a son, and to anyone here who has lost someone they love.
At this time, I would like to read small verse by an anonymous author.
We’ve known lots of pleasure, at times endured some pain,
We’ve lived in the sunshine, and we’ve walked in the rain.
But now we’re separated, and for a time apart.
But I am not alone, you’re forever in my heart.
Death always seems so sudden, and it is always sure.
But what is often forgotten, is it’s not without a cure.
I’m walking now with someone, and I know He’ll always stay.
I know He’s walking with you too, giving comfort every day.
There may be times you miss me, I sort of hope you do.
But smile when you think of me, for I’ll be waiting for you.
Now there are many things for you to do, and lots of ways to grow.
So, get busy, be happy, and live your life,
Miss me but let me go.
In our road to acceptance, we must learn that grief and love are two sides of the same coin. Without truly loving someone, we can never feel grief over their loss.
Grief is a stinging emotion. It brings pain, sorrow, and suffering. It can bring depression, anxiety, and stress to our day-to-day activities. It knocks on the door of every home at some point during the course of our lives. It cannot be escaped – not by money, power, or fame. It will always be there, waiting for the day when we must prepare to face it.
Grief is unavoidable. In accepting the loss of Mike, we must also accept our pain. This pain may continue for months, years, or decades. It may never truly go away. But allowing ourselves to cope – through whatever means we find necessary – is a step in the right direction. Don’t be afraid to cry. Don’t be afraid to expose your grief. Don’t attempt to bury the pain in work and activity. Because, while grief can be denied and postponed, it will come back.
You are remembering the beauty and joy that came with love – and, someday, you will be able to think about Mike without sadness or tears. You will remember the beautiful moments you shared with him. And you will know peace.
At this time, I would like to read Psalm 23.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
This verse reminds us that Mike is not alone. Despite our loss, he has entered a world of safety, comfort, and peace. He is not afraid. He will never be alone, even while we continue our grieving.
Mike is in a beautiful place, filled with undying love, remembrance, compassion, and joy. He is protected from our earthly woes – and he is eternal.
Acceptance is a part of life that many of us are still struggling to master. As we grieve over Mike, we wonder when our own suffering will end. We wonder when we will be able to sleep properly again. We wonder when we will be at peace.
The answer is, of course, when we are able to accept what we have lost. There is no simple way to reach that level of acceptance – especially when we are hurting so deeply.
Love is sometimes painful. Someday, when we learn to love again, we will realize that we are willing to accept the consequences of that love; just as we accepted them when we first met Mike.
Why? Because love is the greatest thing on this earth. It means that we are capable of being more than human beings. It means that we are capable of creating communities and building those communities into groups of people who can make a difference in the lives of others.
Love means that we are able to gather, in that community, to mourn the loss of someone who meant the world to us. Love is the most wonderful experience that we will ever know. And, though it brings us the most pain we will ever feel, it is better to have lost a loved one than never to have loved anyone at all.
And, thus, acceptance is important. Mike would not have wanted us to shed tears or weep at his loss. He would want us to celebrate the incredible things he accomplished in his time on earth, no matter how brief. He would want us to remember his legacy – and to continue that legacy by sharing our memories with the people around us.
I would like to ask all of you to join me now as we pray for Mike in the words of the Lord’s Prayer.
Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our Daily Bread and forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,
For thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever.
O Lord, we gather here today to ask for your strength at this difficult time. We ask for the guidance and comfort that you alone can provide. Help us understand and accept the loss that we are facing. Help this community heal by pulling together and remembering Mike with pride in their hearts. Provide us with light in the darkness of death. Give us the courage and hope to carry on, despite our pain and suffering. Remind us that Mike would have wanted his family and friends to remember him with a smile on their face and joy in their steps. Comfort us and guide us. We ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
The time has come to take our leave of Mike. He is someone we will always admire and hold close to our hearts. Now, we must return to our normal lives with the intention of living each day to the fullest and accepting our loss as the price we’ve paid for the privilege of true love. We must remember that Mike served an important purpose in own lives. He touched each of us with his kindness, his sweet words, and his heart. Now, we must repay him by providing those things for the people in our lives.
We leave this service knowing that our love for Mike remains unchanged by his passing. Our memories remain intact and unblemished. They will never be taken away, changed, or harmed. They will remain a standing tribute of the light in our lives – the man who made all the difference.
At this time, I would like to finish our service for Mike with the following verse by an anonymous author:
God has called and it’s my time to leave,
He’s invited me to join him in his home.
But remember that I’ll always be listening,
If you ever feel sad or feel alone.
Each time you hear the wind blowing in the breeze,
That’s my reminder that you’re not to cry.
And each time you see lightning in a storm,
That’s me laughing up here, in the sky.
I’m sorry for all the pain I’ve caused.
I hope all the bad feelings are left behind.
I’m sorry we don’t have more memories,
I just ran out of time.
Now, each of you has your own angel in the sky.
I’ll be watching over you day and night.
And as long as I remain looking down on you,
You know you’ll always be alright.
Our funeral service for Mike is now concluded.
I would like to thank all of you for attending our service today. You have provided great comfort to Mike’s family and friends, and you have proven that communities can pull together in times of great sorrow. Thank you for your memories, appreciation, and kindness.