Strangest memorial gathering I’ve ever been to in that nearly everyone there had never met anyone else there.
Then again, maybe it’s not so strange, given Alan’s diversity of interests.
Some knew him from biking, others from music, others from his politics, others from his social life.
Just a handful in attendance – those few who lived close enough to attend this semi-impromptu gathering.
Sharing favorite memories
Nearly everyone of the 20-or-so attendees to the after-concert gathering, hosted by the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Glendale (yes, he also knew Alan personally), stood and shared a memory or story or thought about Alan. From this, I think that we all learned a lot about aspects of the man that we hadn’t known from our own limited views.
The relatives in particular valued this sharing. They expressed thanks for learning about the many sides of Alan that they had not known as kin. Unfortunately, as one relative gracefully put it, “Allen didn’t do family as well as he did many other things.”
And I’d known that about him from our Starbucks conversations – that the subject of family was not an easy one for him.
That said, the subject of family came up several times in our talks, which suggests to me that it’s an area of his life he wanted to repair or improve.
Another relative pointed out today something that, I suspect, is a universal truth – that “It’s a shame, really, how we learn so much about a person after his death, not during his life.”
A shame? Maybe. But here’s another universal truth; we were all glad for the gathering and the sharing.