Posted on Thursday, April 15, 2010 in Uncategorized
Adam Bieringer’s Funeral Service
April 15, 2010 @ Wulff Godbout Funeral Home
Hi. My name is Scott Volltrauer and I have the incredible privilege of speaking. As I look around the room I see people who have known Adam longer, known him more intimately and loved him more deeply than I could imagine. To each of you I ask you to be patient with me as we reflect together on Adam’s life.
Adam died from Advanced Coronary Artery Disease. There is a history of heart disease and high cholesterol on both sides of his family, and while this is pretty rare in someone only 30 years old, his dad said Adam’s arteries were filled with plaque & basically could no longer do their job.
Many of us loved Adam, but only Adam’s parents know the depth of the joy when he first said “Mommy” or “Daddy”, or the first “I love you.” His grandparents rocked him to sleep and his siblings watched him grow from a bratty brother into a man.
And, a week ago they had no idea that they would be here today.
Adam had a 161 Facebook friends. Look around Adam obviously many more loved ones!
Adam called himself complicated, but to be honest I never thought that. I’ll admit his love of heavy metal music and beautiful Celtic is an odd combination, but certainly not complicated.
I’ve known Adam for more than 15 years and I always thought Adam was Adam. He was real. He was who he was. Let me remind you of things that were true:
You, his family, were very important to him
He was a grandson.
He was a son.
He was a brother.
He was an uncle.
He wanted to have a family to build of his own. He wanted to have children of his own someday.
Adam loved the children in his life. My favorite picture of him was when he was in Central America in 1996 lovingly holding a small child.
Forgive me but sometimes he liked to act like a hard-ass but he had such a big heart.
You, his friends, were his extended family – his other sisters and brothers
– Adam could make a friend with any and everyone
– He would do anything for any friend
– He gave many of us more chances than we may have deserved
Adam longed to make a difference with his life and looking to make a difference he had several jobs:
– Volkart May was his last job – he was thriving there and well-appreciated
– He felt proud and felt accomplished
– He connected people to other people
– He could be a friend to women without junk getting in the way
– He played a special role in all of our lives
I could say more, but I’d rather it came from you.
We do not have an open mic today so let me share more than twenty of the many notes I read online. I know these words speak the words many of you would say:
Adam could change the mood in the room just saying one word
Your death created a loss to this world that can never be re-created
I will miss your sense of humor.
Your love for your family and friends was uncompromising,
I am so glad to have known you.
I feel so honored to call you my friend and to have spent time with you.
I have never known Adam to have an enemy, only friends
I just wish I would have told you sooner how wonderful of a friend you were and how much I cherished having you in my life.
I was always glad to work near you, because it would make my days go so much faster.
I will always view as my best friend
I’m going to miss seeing you and being blessed with your wonderful personality.
It’s crazy to say goodbye already.
Thanks for being a ‘real’ person and always being so nice to me.
You are like the brother I never had I will miss you so much.
You were a definite character in all of our lives that is irreplaceable.
You were a great friend and a great man!
You were a very nice person and a great friend to all!
You were like a second son
You were one of the few genuine platonic friends in my life
You were one of the funniest people I have ever known.
You don’t know how lucky you are to have friends like you until they are gone
You will be greatly missed.
You taught me that life must move on
You taught me even though someone may not be here physically they never leave us on earth alone; they leave us with much memories.
You taught me how to cherish each day as it may be the last
And, lastly, God knew what he was doing when he sent us ADAM…
What good, if any, can come out of this tragedy?
Adam’s gone. Let yourself grieve. Grieve the way you want to. There are no rules.
Even Jesus – the Creator of the heavens and the Earth – cried when his friend died.
What good, if any, can come out of this tragedy?
We will each react differently. Some of you hurt deeply, some not, some recover quickly, some not. Some cry, others scream, still others stuff their feelings. To each of us I offer this simple advice that I try to live: Say all your “I’m sorry”s, all your “thank you”s and all your “I love you”s every day.
I knew about Adam before I ever met him. Many friends told me how much they liked him. I finally met Adam at TreeHouse in the mid-90s.
Each week at TreeHouse we remind one another that we are each lovable, capable & worthwhile. Everyone one of us has value, even if we do not think that we do. You and I will never truly appreciate how much we’re loved until we’re gone.
Today we’re not thinking about the things that Adam did that bugged us we’re thinking about the things we’ll miss. If you and I spent all of our times enjoying the good rather than focusing on the things that bug us the world would be a much better place.
Some of you are seeing old friends. Others of you are seeing people you don’t know, don’t like or may have been hurt deeply by.
Adam’s parents divorced, and though they told me that they went through a sad wounded time but that they loved their kids enough not to let their hurt wound their kids. In your pain please don’t hurt others.
Some of us have deep and hurtful regrets of “what-if…”, “If only I had…” or “I so sorry I…” I helped someone move in the building across from Adam’s and I thought I should stop by. I didn’t. I thought there will always be time later. There wasn’t.
Regrets. Please leave them here. We cannot change the past!
What we can do is influence the present, and plan for the future.
Please hear me clearly; you cannot change your past. Leave your regrets here. Change your present and plan for the future.
Say all your “I’m sorry”s, all your “thank you”s and all your “I love you”s every day.
We find ourselves left with the questions of “what do I do now” or “what will I do without him.”
My challenge for you and the challenge for me is to honor Adam with our lives.
Graveside Scripture Reading
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4