This last Saturday I officiated the wedding of Sarah and Brian in Corpus Christi. This special couple was brought together through the tragedy of the death of a mutual friend. In fact, they saw him as their honorary best man. Here are the personal remarks I shared with them during their ceremony:
Sarah and Brian were brought together by tragedy. A dear mutual friend lost his life. Anyone who has experienced such tragedy knows that one of the basic human reactions one invariably has is to ask why. Why did this happen to my loved one? This question can nag and gnaw at the heart, and therein lies a problem. You see, try as we may, with a loss of such finality, we can never really find an answer to that question. Depending on one’s theological stance, there may be no reason, or they may be a reason that is not in the realm of human understanding. To us it is all the same. We are left in the dark.
There is great hope though, if you follow the example of Sarah and Brian. What Sarah and Brian did, in words and in action, was realize that moving forward entailed asking another very different question, and that is, what now. Now that I have experienced tragedy, what shall I do? I can’t and never will know why it happened, but what meaning shall I give to that tragedy? What meaning shall I give to my life henceforth? This is a question that is entirely answerable; this is a question that we must answer, each one of us.
Now each person has to give his or her own answer to what their life’s meaning will be. That said, there can be a basic common sketch that most of us can follow on the road to true meaning, a sketch Sarah and Brian have tried to live by. We can find true meaning through loving, through being loved, through savoring life to the fullest, and through being of service to others. Examine Sarah and Brian’s lives as individuals and as a couple, and you will see these four threads create the fabric of what Brian aptly calls, “a good and simple life.”
So, Sarah and Brian, thank you. Thank you for reminding us how one can and should live. May you and may we continue on that path to truly meaningful lives of loving, being loved, savoring life and being of service to others.