BELLEVUE, Wash. – Forlorn mourners gathered Friday at Skyridge Park in Bellevue, braving sheets of blustery rain, to mark the passing of sunshine, blue skies, and almost-comfortable Puget Sound beaches.
The service, held under tent shelters with rain-drop glistened roofs, drew dozens of poncho clad people.
“We will never forget you.”
Some laughed, some cried. But all were united in their pervading sense of love and loss. They shared stories and remembered the good times.
“We didn’t only come here because we wanted to just be sad,” explained one stoic attendee to the crowd. “We wanted to celebrate what sunshine meant to us.”
For everyone involved, that meant something different, and emotions ran high.
One man, gathering courage for a few words, could only manage wailing sobs before stepping back down. As he did, however, several others wrapped around him in a warm and supportive circle.
After regaining his composure, he approached the small podium once more. With his eyes lifted skyward, he said, “Sunshine, if you’re up there right now – if you can hear us – know that we love you, and that we will never forget you.”
For so many of those gathered, these soulful words were the ultimate expression of inward sentiment.
As the event concluded, a final toast was offered up and dozens of plastic cups came together: a fitting tribute to a dear friend.