One of the things I like about commuting is the time to think. Aside from jamming out to my music and drinking Dr. Pepper, that’s what I spend a lot of my commute to the U doing, thinking. Today I had the sad opportunity to go to the funeral of our neighbor, Dylan Thornton. I spent a lot of time on the drive up to my class tonight thinking about this good man and his family. I only have a small window before class starts and I should probably be reviewing my notes or something but I thought instead I would write a little bit about Dylan.
The older I get the more teary I seem to be. I don’t think it’s a bad thing, I think it really is just as I have experienced more in life, the more I can relate to pain and hard experiences. [Hence I cry more when other people are sad.] During the funeral Dylan’s brother-in-law Murray shared a quote that I really liked. It’s from a talk by Elder Nelson called “Doors of Death“. It says, “Mourning is one of the deepest expressions of pure love….We can’t fully appreciate joyful reunions later without tearful separations now. The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life”. It is very apparent that Dylan and his family are very well loved. There were lots of tears shed at his viewing and funeral and there were hundreds and hundreds of people in attendance. He impacted those around him in simple and loving ways and people loved him back.
It was awesome to listen to all of the fun, kind, and inspiring stories that were shared about Dylan. He lived such a powerful life in his short 34 years. Right alongside him in amazing-ness is his sweet and strong wife, Emily. I was so impressed that she spoke at the funeral today. She shared her faith, her pain, and her love for Dylan and Cooper. My favorite thing that she (and their Married Student Bishop) shared was that when horrible things happen God isn’t “doing” this to us. Really crappy things happen and God is just as sad about it as we are. He’s there to help us pick up the pieces and keep on keeping on. The Bishop explained it as you send your kids off to school and stuff happens to them. The parents didn’t do that to their kid but things happen when they are at school and those things can be really horrible. What a powerful way to look at the really, really, hard and sad things that happen in our lives.
I’m so grateful for Emily and Dylan and way they live. I think it is in their down-to-earth, relatable, strength and happiness in the hard things of life that makes them so easy to love. My heart just breaks for their families at this time and I hope that they can feel the love that others have for them in this tragic time.
We love you neighbors.