I was privileged to visit with Mr. J. for many months. The family invited me to share a reflection on my visits with him at his funeral service. Here is my presentation:

Warmest greetings!

I am truly honored to speak at this service – my sincere thanks to Mr. J.’s family for the invitation to do so.

Ten months ago I met one of the most gracious gentlemen I have had the privilege to meet. As a volunteer with Transitions HospiceCare, I was asked to visit with Mr. J. And so, every Thursday, I had the wonderful opportunity to sit by his bedside and enjoy a conversation with this loving, dignified, Christian man. Mr. J. shared details of his remarkable life – growing up here in North Carolina – his time in the service of our country – the many years he worked in the nation’s capital and finally his return to North Carolina.

I was amazed at his courage and tranquility. After all, how many of us would be able to essentially be bedbound for months – really unable to move much because of a dreadful illness, without complaining bitterly – but Mr. J. never complained to me. He was always full of cheer and kindness.

As a hospice worker and now, since retirement, a hospice volunteer, I have sat with hundreds of people in their final days. Rarely have I had the honor to sit with such a gracious and loving man. I will truly miss our Thursday visits.

I am comforted by this reality – his mortal remains might be here but this I know – by God’s grace, Mr. J. has walked out into eternity. He has received that inheritance that the apostle Peter says, is "incorruptible, and undefiled and fadeth not away reserved in heaven for you."

I again thank the family for allowing me the privilege of meeting Mr. J. A true gentleman who touched my heart in a profound way.

Thank you.

-by Steven B., volunteer