Today I went to the funeral for Steve Brown. Surrounded by friends, I was able to witness the incredible serenity as my Heavenly Father embraced me....and not only me, but the entire congregation in attendance. As we mourned the loss of a friend, boss, co-worker, father, brother, uncle, bishop, son, husband...I couldn't help but realize the impact that this one man had in the lives of many. Following the services, I talked to several people who told me experiences that only exemplified what a great man he was. After the testimonies and celebration of his life by those who spoke, I realized that I only had the opportunity to have a glimpse of this man's life.
Two of Steve's children spoke. I was blown away by their words and their courage as they expressed the love they had for their father. Not only did they account for their favorite memories, which also involved some kind of funny moment, but they provided comfort to their whole family. They bore their testimony of a loving Heavenly Father who knows the larger picture. They know that through time they will heal, and know that their father's memory will live on in them until the time they can see him again. They both, Michael (who I believe is 13) and Meagan (20), both know that they will return with their father again.
I think my favorite part of their talks were recounting the times that Steve would drag them out of bed to read scriptures every morning. They also talked about how they would participate in family home evening religiously. They both recall him being at all their extra curricular activities, concerts, recitals, games, and other significant events. What an incredible father!
President Eyring had the opportunity to speak also. His words were very personal...and meant for the family. More then anything, his words and validation of the things that were said during the service made me feel like the arms of the Lord surrounded us for that moment...where no one took offense, where everyone was family, where we were all brought together to witness the sweet passing of a worthy man.
What an honor it was to be in the presence of angels today, who spoke truths of what to expect in the life to come...and what we can do in the meantime.
Steve Brown left a legacy of laughter, thought, care, kindness, hard work, perseverance and love. I will never forget the incredible impact this man had on me. He was there for me during some pretty difficult circumstances and always had time to talk with me, even during the busiest time of the day. Yes, I will miss him...as others will.
Even in his passing, I felt like he was still at work. Working to let his family and friends know that he is still the same man with a great sense of humor, who is taking the next world by storm. He is unstoppable, moving, and preparing and building the kingdom of God.
What an incredible thing to know that I have a Father in Heaven who cares so much for me, and who also has a plan for all of us. My mortal mind may not be able to comprehend all of it, but I know for a surety that it is true. If only I can live my life in a way that will bring me safely home to Him...just like my dear friend, Steve lived his....such a good reminder to me of God's true love for all His children!