My friend Steve Routh died today. Covid. Ventilator. Untimely.
I’m sad about his passing. I know he is with the Lord. And it isn’t that Steve and I were in constant contact. He was one of those friends that if you hadn’t seen him for forty years you’d pick up right where you left off.
But I am sadder than I would normally be. I think it’s because there seems to be a shortage of people like Steve in this world. There is certainly a shortage of them in my own life.
My first memory of Steve is math class in high school. I think it was in Mike Priddy’s geometry class. We had an instant appreciation for one another and we were friends from then on. Then he married one of our good Church of God girls, Trudy Pruitt. That made him part of the family.
John Donne’s Meditation #17 came to mind today. You can read it below. Essentially, Donne is saying when the bell rings out that another person has died, it is really tolling for all of us. Why? Because we are all connected. He uses the continent of Europe as his example, saying if a mountain or even a small clod of dirt were washed away by the sea, both are losses because both were a part of the continent.
Today, I feel sadness and loss because Steve was a part of the continent of my life. Steve’s death diminishes me and I feel it today. Rest In Peace my friend.
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.