My friend, (recent) neighbor and former colleague at InterVarsity, Pete Hammond went to be with the Lord on Friday. I never took my own picture of him myself, which I deeply regret. It’s weird, you always think you will have more time.
My heart is heavy today as I sit here at my laptop reflecting on the man I knew. He was 72 (I think), only “retiring” at 70 which is a reflection of him as person. He was never “done” with the work that was on his heart and he continued to make his influence known on people all over the country. He was often in and out of Madison on various trips, it was hard to know when he was here. But we were able to spend a few hours here and there having coffee at my house. In coming days I will reflect on those hours.
Pete was a man of many words.
He loved to write, often waking at 4 or 5 in the morning and writing all morning. Pete loved to pass along books and leaflets, and what not. One thing that he passed on to me, to help me with my grief over losing my father, was titled called the “Mourner’s Bill of Rights.”
1. You have the right to experience your own unique grief.
2. You have the right to talk about your grief.
3. You have the right to feel a multitude of emotions.
4. You have the right to be tolerant of your physical and emotional limits.
5. You have the right to experience “grief bursts.”
6. You have the right to make use of ritual.
7. You have the right to embrace your spirituality.
8. You have the right to search for meaning.
9. You have the right to treasure your memories.
10. You have the right to move toward your grief and heal.
In many ways a list like this is simplistic, but Grief is such a mystery and takes it’s own time. Time actually I have found is meaningless when it comes to grief.