Monday, May 2, 2011

In Memoriam

Edgar and I in November 2009

This morning, a good friend of mine, Edgar Hartzler, died. I don't have the details yet of what caused his death. All I know is that at breakfast this morning at Saint Augustine's home in Indianapolis he fell very ill and was taken immediately to Saint Vincent's hospital where he died around 10:30 a.m. EDT. He was 78 years old.

I had known Ed since 2004 when I first started visiting him as part of the Community Caring organization. I volunteered with them and Marcia Brown (then its director) paired me up with Ed. It was the first time I had ever volunteered to have one-on-one interaction with someone in need and it was Ed's first time to have a "little brother" of sorts. It was equally awkward for each of us and so it worked out pretty well.

We both got past that initial awkwardness and became fast friends. Over the years, Edgar and I would share many wonderful memories: visits to the zoo, museums, baseball games, and nights out for dinner. We had some stressful and difficult times, and our relationship had been particularly strained since I had entered the seminary since my studies and duties in the diocese left me with little time to spend with him. Nevertheless, he remained a true friend to the end.

One of my greatest joys was to see him come into full communion with the Catholic Church in 2009. It had been a long journey of faith for him and I believe he counted it as one of the most important events of his life. I was honored to serve the Easter Vigil mass that welcomed him into the Church.

I last saw Ed a week and a half ago, on Wednesday of Holy Week. We talked about my trip to Rome last January and about the plans for him to be at my ordination to the diaconate in June. He wanted nothing more than to be there for my ordination. I suppose now, he won't have to worry so much about those plans.

While the news came as a shock today - it was certainly unexpected - I guess in a way I had been preparing for this to happen for some time. I knew his health had been deteriorating significantly over the past few years and that in reality something could happen at any time. Today was that day. I pray that God has looked upon him with mercy and received him lovingly into heaven.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him...

P.S. His funeral will be this Friday, May 6th at 11:00 a.m. EDT at Saint Augustine's Home for the Aged on 86th Street in Indianapolis.

No comments:

Post a Comment