The quiet sufferer

A packet of Doritos and a can of bourbon were placed by Bryce’s coffin. One by one, friends and family took a moment to place their momento; science text books, stunt pegs and a work hard hat signed by his many colleagues and his beloved BMX bike gleamed at the front entrance. Children sobbed, teenagers wailed and adults hid their eyes behind dark sunglasses. Bryce was a seemingly popular man with two hundred people spilling from the chapel. Much loved, respected and already missed, it was hard not to wonder why someone so cherished would choose to end their own life. The overdose of Heroin sucked the life right out of him, and it was why we stood there today. With many songs needed to be played and a DVD slideshow of photos, it was my job to stay with the media controls, which I like to do on large services as you get a view of everything that is going on. I control the camera angles  and it is my responsibility to ensure the music is played at the right time. I struggled not to cry when one of my favourite groups, The Hilltop Hoods rapped through the speakers. I looked away when his daughter screamed out Bryce’s name, making a run for the coffin.

Later, once the chapel was cleaned and the family were escorted to catering, I drove home with a heavy heart. In the half hour I was in my car the afternoon radio presenters announced their names 12 times like their names were the most important thing in the world.  My CD player had stopped working and silence wouldn’t be any better. So their frustrating chatter it was, and as I listened to them rattle on about themselves I thought of this young man who was being cremated in that very moment. I turned my gaze to the drivers sharing the highway with me…Life went on.

I was able to spend some time with Bryce prior to the funeral. We triple check everything at the funeral home, from the clothes the deceased is wearing to the coffin handles, and as I carried out this final inspection, my eyes were locked to his gorgeous face and Bambi long lashes resting.

Humble was a word frequently used in the six eulogies delivered by Bryce’s friends and family. Quiet. Gentle. Generous. Kind and thoughtful. All the good words.

I couldn’t help but wonder…was he told this while he was alive? Was the quiet sufferer told how much he was loved?

Reach out to somebody TODAY. Your spouse.  Sibling, parents or a friend. Tell them you love them, you might just make their day. Maybe they are going through a dark time that you don’t know about and your simple text or phone call could help more than you will ever know. They could be suffering quietly. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Because it may never come.