Friday was a full day. Today was Kendall Hebert’s funeral. On Wednesday and Thursday nights at Marcotte Funeral home we were simply overwhelmed with the number of people who stopped by to pay their respects. There were hundreds of people and the 8:30 PM prayers could not get underway until 9:45 PM as we waited for everyone to make their way into the room to visit with Kendall’s family. We were all wondering how we would handle things today – with the funeral scheduled to be held at Marcotte’s with simulcast into a second room we felt that there was room for nearly 500 people in at least two separate rooms.
Fr. Robert Couture from St. Anne’s Parish came to the visitation and offered his parish church as a venue. Seating 650 comfortably it was the perfect solution. The family accepted the offer and today the church was filled beyond capacity with near 800 people. Nearly 160 cars followed in procession to the cemetary. It was unbelievable and it could not have happened without the support of the wider Tecumseh Community. Many thanks to the people of St. Anne’s for hosting us. The funeral home staff was as well exceptional. Jerry Marcotte and all of his team offered professional care and love to not just the family, but to all who attended. As always, the Marcotte Funeral home and Chapel show that they are the most compassionate in their vocation. Thanks you Jerry for everything.
It was tremendous to see how many people were touched by this young woman. Kendall may only have been 17 but she clearly influenced a lot of people. Kendall’s mom Beth wrote a Eulogy which I read for her. It was tremendous. There was so much in it that left me moved. I was most impressed by the love that she was offered by her Mom and Dad and then subsequently by her step-parents with her mom and dad. What was also impressive was Beth’s telling of Kendall’s ability to overcome a difficult learning disability to become an 80 % GPA High School Student at Belle River High. This young woman was obviously very special. She obviously spent so much of her time giving to others and as her mother out it – seeking justice for all people.
The presence of students from both Belle River High and St. Anne’s High School as well as some from AV Graham was a great witness to how Kendall impacted here peers. It was a good experience to see all of the young people and the community that they live. They needed to be together these past few days and they did just that. At 17, no one contemplated mortality. This past week these 17 years olds were forced to deal with their own mortality. They were shocked into realizing that life does not last for ever and can be over in a tragic instant. We all were cognisant today of the great gift that life is and how quickly it can be taken from us.
Beth and Dan and Ken and Janet were so great today. I think saying farewell to a child is awful. I cannot imagine anything more painful. There is something very unnatural about it all and seeing their grief I was moved by their ability to express love to the rest of their family and friends in even the midst of the most unthinkable pain and suffering.
I am grateful to have gotten to know this family. I wish it could have been in a happier time. Most especially I wish I could have come to know Kendall in her life. I have been moved and changed by coming to know her in death. I would have been better for knowing her in life!