We celebrated the life of Wendy Lee Tedmon this morning at Calvary. It was a grand gathering of friends and family for a beautiful service of moving tributes and inspiring music. Even so we all felt the weight of Wendy's sudden and untimely passing. “Weep with those who weep” was the collective experience even when we were laughing. I am not generally given to coarse or crude language but there was no polite way to say what I believe we were all feeling so I began my homily in a way I believe Wendy Lee would have approved. “This sucks. Totally” There it is plain and simple. I think heaven should have waited for Wendy no matter how good it might be. We do not do ourselves any favors by sugar coating the truth of loss by looking for silver linings or minimizing grief by placating ourselves with thoughts of the deceased being better off even if they are because we sure as hell are not. That is not to say that we are overcome by the evil that robs parents of a grown child, a husband of a wife, children of a mother, siblings and connected family of their loved one or friends of a delight filled life. We rail against the darkness, albeit it with clenched teeth and weeping eye, because we believe the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ has exposed death as an illusion and therefore we are able to rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering and connect ourselves constantly to the Holy Mystery through prayer. So despite this devastating loss we are inspired to do what Wendy Lee did her with her life. She sang hope into despair, joy into sorrow, faith into doubt and through her life and in her death all who were blessed by her will honor her memory by doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly with God. (Micah 6:8) Godspeed Wendy Lee. You will be missed but by the grace of God you will be always present.