Police tape cordoned off a large area, a young woman sat on the curb crying and several police cars did not paint a pretty picture Tuesday afternoon. I had just come from a movie about a homeless family, The Glass Castle. Shortly thereafter, a text message explained it all, one of our homeless had died.
I didn’t know Harry. I called several other homeless advocates until I found one that knew him. That young woman on the curb was his fiancé, he has a child in our school district, he was very good friends with one of our other homeless men. He was loved, he was human.
It surprised me that he had a child in one of our schools. I don’t know why, having children is common. I guess what caught me off guard is that it made him more human, a child lost his father on Tuesday, a mother her son and a heartbroken woman, her fiancé.
Harry will likely not have his obituary in the Elk Grove Citizen, or maybe even a funeral… and that breaks my heart. Was he better or less than any of us, of course not. He was just human with human failings. A human with a child, a human with people that loved and cared about him. For those people, my heart mourns as it does for anyone that has lost a loved one. As I often remind myself, I am not here on this earth to judge but to love. I’m sorry I did not know Harry and have the opportunity to show him love, but am so thankful for those that did care about him. For the police officer that was deeply saddened, for the homeless advocate that choked back the tears when I told her of his passing. I’m thankful for the beautiful people of our community that care for the homeless, that see them as humans.
Goodbye, Harry, and God bless you. You leave a gap in the hearts of those that loved you. You did not die unknown or unloved.