The Most Beautiful Funeral Ever -or- A Treasured Group of Friends
Tuesday and Wednesday of this past week were the funeral events held to celebrate the life of Ben Jacobsen and although it was an emotional week, it will also always be a very treasured one. Although there was so much sadness and loss, there was also a beautiful energy and spirit everywhere. The gathering of friends from literally all over the globe was incredible to witness. I just soaked in as much time as I could with these folks I just love. To be counted as being a friend of some of these outstanding people was very uplifting and humbling and frankly, filled me with joy. I feel so blessed with a life filled with friends like these, even if I don't get to see them often. I was able to attend several gatherings; some official parts of the services, some spontaneous gatherings. I didn't take enough pictures. Here's just one:
Ben's funeral was perhaps the loveliest I have ever attended. The words spoken were so tender, heartfelt and inspired. A prominent church leader was there and shared a very personal message with Allison, Ben's widow. There was beautiful music. Even the opening and closing prayers were meaningful and memorable.
And now, there is the daunting task ahead of finding a way to support Ben's family he left behind, of helping them step along this very rocky way. I hope I can find some way to help.
I think I will post Ben's obituary here, as it was quite inspirational:
Benjamin Garff Jacobsen 1974 ~ 2010 A young man with a great heart, a faithful spirit, a bright mind, a wonderful family, and a contagious zest for life, Ben died at home on October 13, 2010. Born March 26, 1974 in Salt Lake City. Graduated from East High School where he was captain of the cross country team. LDS missionary in the Japan Sapporo Mission. Received a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from the U of U. As a licensed structural engineer, he was a founder of and partner in Structural Design Studio. In the LDS Church he served as elders quorum president and Sunday School teacher. Ben wisely married Allison Burbidge in the Salt Lake Temple in 1996. They are parents of Sarah (10), Cameron (7), and Nathan (4). Ben is survived by his parents, Ted and Charlotte Jacobsen; sisters Sarah Schmidt (Brian) and Laura Dunlop (Jason); brothers Bruce (Jenny), Paul (Holly), Andrew, and Scott (Courtney); Allison's parents, Dennis and Rosemary Burbidge; brother-in-law Clark Burbidge (Melissa); seven nephews; 10 1/2 nieces; beloved uncles, aunts, and cousins; and a large circle of treasured friends. Ben loved being outdoors with friends and family. He placed first in his heat in the 2008 Lotoja bike race. A year later, he completed that race in respectable time despite being diagnosed with cancer. This year, many of his biking friends wore "Team Firestorm" jerseys in Ben's honor and he was at Lotoja to support those who have been so supportive of him. His final entry in the blog chronicling his encounter with cancer states: "I now begin to move sooner than I would like toward the end of this journey but to the beginning of what will surely be an exciting new journey without the pain and stress of the past few months. I will be delighted to be free of pain but I shall very much miss family and friends (for a season), biking, early morning 'Dawn Patrol' in the snowy backcountry, the chance to help create a respected structural engineering business, hikes to Grandeur Peak with Allison, soccer games, violin recitals, Christmases, Hebgen, etc. I hope I will be allowed an occasional 'hall pass' to observe from afar the significant future events in the lives of my family." "Allison and I are deeply grateful for the love and support which we have received from medical professionals and wonderful friends and family, near and far, during the past 15 months. It has made the journey less difficult. Thank you!" "Although my mortal life has been shorter than I had hoped and anticipated, I have been greatly blessed. I have a truly remarkable wife; three bright, good children with great potential; faith in the Resurrection and eternal family relationships; six siblings who have loved, challenged and helped shape me; parents and in-laws who have loved, encouraged and cared deeply for me; great, faithful, loyal friends; wonderful business associates; and more than a few sacred times when I have known, by the Spirit, who I really am, the purposes of life, and the truths of eternity. I'll be just up the trail and around the bend . . ."