Remembering Hunter...

Yesterday was a very powerful day that I was honored to be a part of....


A couple of weeks ago I got a call from my friend Wendy asking if I would help her out by singing at a memorial service she was helping to organize for some friends of hers. She went on to tell me the heartbreaking story of her good friends Lenore and Zen and their beautiful and brave 3 1/2 year-old son, Hunter, who had lost his long and painful battle with leukemia about a month ago. The memorial service was to be a celebration of his life, a gathering of friends and family who want to show their love and support and remember Hunter...

Of course, I said yes without hesitating.

I think it's almost impossible not to feel moved and saddened by a story like this, but at first I didn't know much about them other than what Wendy had told me. I had never met Lenore or Zen, and did not have the pleasure of knowing Hunter. So I went to the blog they had created during Hunter's battle, HeaingHunter.com, to learn more about them.

The website was created as a place for support during his fight, for words of encouragement where people could help to rally with prayers and hope, and donate money to help the fight continue.... but of course, by the time I got to the blog, the fight was over. Suddenly I was immersed in the unbelievable sadness of what this family had experienced...

There were pictures of little Hunter from all stages of his life, and disease.... the times where he fought for his life, as well as the times of remission. The words of heartbroken parents trying to express the magnitude of Hunter's fate... this little boy had endured 4 rounds of chemo-therepy and every amount of extreme measures they could possibly take to save him. But as hard as "Iron Hunter" fought, I was now reading about "The Death of a Superhero" and how these loving, incredible parents now had to deal with it all being over. I honestly can't verbalize it in a way that's appropriate... I was crushed, and I didn't even know them. I didn't have to go through the 2 years of ups and downs, hope and pain... I spent only a few minutes inside a window of their lives, and it was almost too much for me to bear...

I had asked my songwriting partner, and good friend Lucy Graves to accompany me for the performance, and she too felt suddenly immersed in the sadness of what they went through... as I said, it's nearly impossible not to be moved by their story and the incredible strength of this family.

They had requested "Woman's Work" and "In the Arms of an Angel" to be sung at the memorial, in-between eulogies from friends and family... It was a beautiful event, but also overwhelming at times. Pictures of Hunter were placed all around the home, and home videos played on tvs. There were a lot of people crying ad grieving for the loss, but also some smiling at stories and good memories.

The memorial was powerful, and I felt truly honored to have been a part of it. I really hope that Lucy and I were able to add something special to an already special occasion, and that the celebration was everything they hoped it would be.

"Hunter spread his love and joy far and wide and it was well received by many. And for that, we are forever grateful he was here for all of us to cherish."

One of the most inspiring parts of the story... Lenore and Zen are pregnant and will be blessed with another child this summer. No one is more deserving.