I don’t really know how to honor you today. There’s not much information out there on you, though by all accounts you were a great guy to know. As I read the tributes your friends and relatives have written previously on the Internet, your sense of humor and your kindness stand out to me. Though this is true about all I’ve seen written about you, it stands out about these traits: when people wrote about those traits, they didn’t seem to just be saying nice things because you died a horrible death. Instead, they seem to be grieving the loss of traits that will never be personified in your special way again.
What also stands out to me is you as a sportsman. I read about you rollerblading, and see pictures of ice climbing, soccer, and diving. It seems clear to me that you loved this world and loved being out in the fresh, clean air. You loved interacting with the world, pushing yourself to greater lengths because of what the world had to offer you. It seems like that fed you in a way that other things did not, and so you pursued it when you needed that feeding.
Finally, what stands out to me is that you should not have died. You didn’t work there. You worked somewhere else, and were there for a meeting that morning. You should still be able to rollerblade, play soccer, go diving, bless people with your kindness and your laughter. The fact that you cannot is a grief, and is something we all must mourn. Garth, you were a hero, and as such should never be forgotten.
“And the pillar of fire, and the pillar of cloud
Did not depart from before the people.”
– Exodus 13:22
According to the promise, we had known
we would be led, and that the ancient God
would deign to make His hidden presence shown
by column of fire, and pillar of cloud.
We had come to suspect what fierce demand
our translation to another land might bode,
but had not guessed He would allow our own
brief flesh to bear the flame, become the cloud.
– Scott Cairns