Goodbyes

I hate to miss a good funeral.

Of all my life regrets, missing the funeral of someone I have loved or respected would be one of my strongest. Today as I enjoyed my penultimate CPE group session, presenting our end of chaplaincy reflections to the group, I was also keenly aware that I was missing the funeral of Andrew Duxfield in Tawa. I spent much of the afternoon thinking of Charmaine, Michael, Kelly, Tim, Kim, Amy and Rosie.

Andrew had taken over as my Boys Brigade captain when the group had fallen into a state of disarray and we feared that the company would close. He shared his faith warmly with us boys, working to build in us a faith that is ‘sure and steadfast’. He took us away on amazing end of year adventures around Tongariro and Taranaki, memories of which sit warmly with me. He coaxed me (most of the way) up mountains and helped me get further than I imagined. I wheezed and puffed. He told me I could do it.

His adventure filled life and faith continued. I worked with his family as. a youth leader. News last week of his very sudden death in Fiji while on mission work came as a huge shock.

Andrew will be missed. I would like to climb those mountains again someday.

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