This evening I attended a viewing -- for two brothers in their mid-20s. Both were husbands and fathers. One was a member of our church.
These men, along with two others, perished in a boating accident last Sunday. The local reservoir is popular with boaters, and these four men had taken their (combined) five children out for a little trip. The wives and some of the other children were basking in the sunshine on the beach. Unfortunately, Jared couldn't swim, and one of the other guys on the boat jokingly pushed him into the water (not knowing that Jared couldn't swim). Although the children all had life vests on, none of the men had chosen to wear the vests. Not surprisingly, panic ensued once it was realized that Jared couldn't swim.
One by one the men jumped into the water to try to save each other. Tragically, all four were lost. The children, aged 3 to 9, called 911 from the boat but it was too late. The children were rescued off the drifting boat about 20 minutes after they called for help. The four bodies of the men were found together at the lake bottom 24 hours after they entered the water.
We have the comfort of knowing where Jared went for eternity. But he will be much missed by his widow and three young children, as well as by all at our church who appreciated and loved him.
It's been a tough week here. This weekend beckons invitingly for a special reason: it is a (long-scheduled) all-church camping trip that will, I hope, give us time to reflect and to begin the healing process.