Making friends with doorknobs

The Rev. Bart Hildreth credited one of Alec’s uncles with saying he could make friends with a doorknob. It was one of many comments that elicited laughter from everyone gathered to commemorate Alec’s life. A bunch of people liked my words,
but there is no doubt that Charlie gave the best speech.
(If you’ve ever listened to him playing videogames you might be amazed at his range.)
I told one of my best friends that it was as hard to come back to Amherst as it was to go to Kansas City. “It crashes in, I know,” she said. The long slog of adjustment begins. Our lives will always be different, now. It isn’t just the fact of Alec’s death that causes the change, it is the meaningfulness his death creates, a meaningfulness possible only because of his life. “Were you close?” another friend asked on learning the news. A reasonable question, since most of my friends know my family hasn’t been all that tight. I couldn’t muster an answer at the time; it seemed a “yes” required an explanation and I didn’t have the energy or the words. Now, I respond with confidence:
Yes, and we’re closer now than we were before. Besides, a couple of the girls who spoke at the funeral said Alec told them “he grew out his hair because it annoyed people.” Obviously we are kin. 🙂

5 thoughts on “Making friends with doorknobs”

  1. Steph, with tears in my eyes, let me just say thank you. What a great way to present some of the memories of Alec. It was good to hear both your and Charlie’s words again. Thanks, Cristi (KC friend)

  2. This is just awesome, I made sure to forward your original em to me to all the loved ones missing him.

  3. Steph, Thanks for capturing Charlie’s words. I was moved to tears and laughter the first time he spoke, as I was today when I watched it all over again. You truly are his aunt and the hair idea lives on! Love ya, Kelly

  4. One of the hardest things about “coming back to Anherst” or trying resume routine life is the routine others expect you to resume. Doesn’t the world understand that life is NOT the same? Something of great significance has happened. Time alleviates the suffering, but never eliminates the pain. Steph, I’m continuing to send white light to envelope you and your family with warmth during this very difficult time.

  5. Christine, your comment about the world ‘not understanding’ … well. :-/ I had a way rough exchange with someone giving me feedback (not comps – that was rough but not in a bad way), telling me “at a certain level it’s really not about you.” I felt this was one of the most honest statements in the encounter because CLEARLY my circumstances, while known, didn’t matter. The challenge is in managing the emotions when such recognition is lacking. I didn’t do that too well in this instance. 🙁

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