Flight left Telluride yesterday at 11 for Idaho Falls. During the flight I received a text message from Keith that a friend of ours had passed away unexpectedly. Sadly he was only 68 years old. Not even an hour later Keith let me know a sister in the Ward had also had a heart attack. She had been rushed to the hospital and was stable fortunately.
Keith was able to break away and pick us up. He looked very somber. Could feel the weight of all this the moment I saw him. He was dressed in his suit and had been with the family ministering to them. Today marked the first death of a Ward member since Keith became Bishop. As a counselor you are shielded a bit from the really hard things. Keith has shared it is a very different experience as Bishop.
Last night a candlelight vigil was held. Hot chocolate and treats were served in the Barn. Ward members and friends stopped by and many recorded short video messages for the family. I had the chance to watch some of the unedited messages with Keith. Steve was loved. I hope the family will enjoy the gift. Death is never kind. There may be no time to say goodbyes. Cherish the time you have and live a life of Peace with yourself and others. Steve was a perfect example.