Eulogy by Uncle Mike

Jonathan Miller was many things to many different people/ and above all what we need to know/ today/ is that he's in now a place of radiance beyond the brightness of earth/ in a place of colors beyond earthly colors, in a state where he can see us and be with us/ especially when we pray.

Jonathan is now waiting for that day when we can join him/ waiting with that big strong softness/ with his easy way/ in that light / and it is in that light that we'll see him again.

The next time we encounter Jonathan he will be in the place of luminosity, beyond this valley of rain and tears where realities unfold unto eternities.

Jonathan Harold Vincent Miller -- J Mill -- was known to many different people in many different ways. But to everyone he was known as having that goodness by which e completed his mission, his mission in life, which was to touch those he was meant to touch, help those he was meant to help, love where love was needed.

"His friendships cut across all lines," said his principal at Lewiston-Porter. "He had an infectious smile. He was an outstanding individual. He was one of the finest young men/ I've ever met."

"He would literally light up a room," said a co-worker at a restaurant down the street from where we now are. "He got along with everyone. We all loved him. Jon was the best friend I've ever had."

That was at Brickyard.

He was a cook. He was a landscaper. Umpire.

"He was always happy," said a friend who knew him from elementary school here at St. Peter's. "He was never mad and never depressed." A lesson for us to carry from this day.

Life is tough, life can be gruesome, life can be a horror, as we have seen, but it all pales beside the light that comes after. In that light, the light Jonathan now wears, no test is too great.

This is what we are all called to do and he reached it at an exceptionally early age and so Jonathan Miller, 17, was ready to move on in a way we could not foresee, that we could never want, that we could not -- because we are not God -- anticipate.

This is not a tragedy more than it is a success story, a day for sorrow, yes, excruciating, but a day of congratulations to him.

God is love and love and love is the light of life, here and hereafter. Jonathan Harold had that.

His maternal grandfather Poppa always said to ride the waves and he and Poppa Miler demonstrated that this week -- even when it was a tsunami -- and his Grandmother Marilyn Miller is with him in Heaven and his Grandma Rose Brown is a light that will never been dimmed for him here on earth -- the strength of a great spirit who loved him beyond the word love.

J. touched no one more than his parents, and no one touched him more than they did.

His success is their success. His light is their light. They prepared him for a journey that is now full of joy and without end.

He touched Lauren and Alyssa, his incredible sisters, -- as they touched him.

In a letter to him this week, placed for eternity, Alyssa wrote, "I can’t even tell you how proud you have made me as an older sister. I don’t think it is often that anyone can say they look up to their younger brother. I have always admired your ability to make people laugh, your ability to make everyone feel like you’re their best friend, your ability to calm, your ability to deal, your giant heart and loving nature, your never-ending strength, compassion, courage, wisdom, and perseverance, your smile and most of all, your zeal for life itself.

"You have touched more lives than I could have ever imagined, and probably more than you ever thought you did. Heaven needed you. When my day comes I know you will be waiting to greet me with your bear hug and warm smile. We will be together again, all of us, as the big happy family we always were. I love you, J, my baby brother."

The heart of a giant and the smile of an angel // and he also touched his uncles and aunts and his cousins -- how he touched his cousins -- as he did friends and classmates and team-mates and teachers and even strangers in a mysterious astonishing way, until it was his time -- mysteriously -- to move on from this place of testing.

What remain as mysteries are meant to remain as mysteries // and what are tragedies to us/ are graduations to the Lord.

Jonathan, you know what the earth is all about now, and what the stars are all about, and what lies beyond.

We know you will help us in our struggles, the blindness of earth.

We know you'll help us understand.

We will sense your presence in rays of sun and even when there are clouds.

Hockey. Football. Basketball. Golf. School. Work. You fit it all in, and never complained, never said no.

With your brightness and bigness you filled every door.

The sadness will fade, Jonathan, the deep sorrow we feel right now, but the memories of you (buddy and nephew) will not.

We know we will see you again.

We know the greatest darkness is just before dawn.

When next we see you / it will be in a place where light comes from within the trees and grass and meadows / and plants sway to a music that ministers but has no beat because in eternity there is no time.

When we think of you and there seems to be a hole, we'll fill that void with the smile of your kindness and the smiling gentleness of your love.

He ran, he skated, he shot baskets, he swung a club, he scored goals, he blocked, he studied, he made it to NU. On Sunday, near NU, he reached a bigger goal line and crossed it.

With humility, he turned challenges into success, enemies into friends.

With his unselfishness, he cleansed.

In the end tragedy will be the wrong way of calling this; it was a completion.

He is with you/ the relatives from near and far/, the neighbors/, the childhood friends.

Jonathan,/ we hardly knew ye/, young as you seemed/, but we'll know you in the eternity that will take eternity to comprehend.

For now we'll hear your voice in the whisper of the wind and in the nudges of intuition, in "coincidence," in the resonance of God, in the chimes of Heaven, at the periphery of consciousness, in the recesses of dreams.

Death, be not proud. You are only a passage, a vortex, a transition. In Jesus, you death met your defeat.

There is no "lights out." There is no fade to black.

Kevin and Jeannine, what a job you did -- incredible -- what an example you set, what a watchman you now have, what a guardian.

Lauren and Alyssa, for 17 years you were with J's brightness and now God needs J's brightness back and one day you'll share it again in a place that eye has not seen.

Grandma and grandpas, he will be very close to you, very close.

The rest of us:

When we look at the sky and a star twinkles brightly, we'll think of you, Jonathan.

We will salute you.

We salute you now.

Mission accomplished.

Well done, faithful servant.

Your smile defeated darkness.

Your smile will always live.

Lord, turn our tears to prayers and living waters.

When we pray, let Jonathan see us. Scroll up the wall of forever.

Blessed Mother, as you felt the agony of your Son's death, but then the joy of His Resurrection, so be it now. Let us see to the heights -- to where  J is -- by transcending sorrow.

As at Lourdes, as at Fatima, as at Knock, as in Nazareth, we pray:

            Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy!
            Our life, our sweetness, and our hope!
            To thee do we cry, poor banished 
            children of Eve, to thee do we send
            up our sighs, mourning and weeping
               in this valley, of tears.
            Turn, then, most gracious advocate,
            thine eyes of mercy toward us; and
            after this our exile show unto us the
            blessed fruit of thy womb Jesus;
            O clement, O loving, O sweet virgin Mary.

            Pray for us, O holy Mother of God

            That we may be made worthy/ of the 
            promises of Christ.