Today I am sad. My day went on as planned, but for some very old friends of mine, life will never be the same. It is impossible to say anything about death that has not already been said before. And it feels wrong to talk about someone else’s death only in terms of how it affects me when I know there are others whose hurt is unspeakable.
I’m forced to fall back on the overwrought metaphor of life being a tapestry (and I know nothing about weaving). The Coffmans are one of those important threads stretch all the way back to nearly the beginning… lots of beginnings, actually. Tim Coffman, Sr. helped coach my very first softball team. Softball… the sport that solidified three of the four most important friendships I have to this day. Stacey Coffman and I were friends all the way through school, and if it weren’t for her, I would not have met my husband.
Timmy is Stacey’s younger brother and a part of a very well-known, well-liked family in my hometown. Timmy was always, and I mean always, unfailingly kind and sweet. Unlike a lot of younger brothers who could be annoying twerps (I have one, so I should know), Timmy was the kind of guy who seemed at ease and happy no matter who was around. I remember Timmy and Stacey painting a welcome home banner for my cousin when she returned home from Saudi Arabia after serving in Desert Storm. Stacey and Tim are both the types of people who would do anything to help anyone, and do so gladly. Tim’s sparkling blue eyes, easy smile, and gentle nature just made his kindness even more apparent.
I am sorry to say that I did not know the man that Timmy became, but I have a feeling that if I were to bump into him tomorrow, we would be able to chat and laugh as though barely a day had passed. I have to stop and remind myself that he was a husband and a father, which makes his sudden passing even more tragic. My memories of Tim’s warm spirit and sweet nature make me certain that he was an amazing husband and father. The condolences I see written for his family merely confirm what was obvious to anybody who knew him then, now, or all the years of his (too) short life.
And so, though this loss is not mine, it is huge nonetheless because the world needs more people like Timmy Coffman. He is exactly the kind of person that it can truly be said that he will be missed by so many… even by those of us who have not really known him or seen him in years.
My heart goes out to his wife, child, mother, father, sister, brother-in-law, nieces, newphews, friends.