I visited the cemetery, to see a friend…

Posted: February 28, 2006 in My Life

Last Friday I was having a rough day. I had so many things happening, so many things to do, and was feeling very stressed. Now they were all good things to do, there were just too many of them all happening at the same time. Then I happened to notice where I was driving. I was pretty close to the cemetery where a friend was buried who had passed away a little over 18 months ago.

His name was Kyle Hinson (picture on right), and I miss him. I do not get overly sad when I think of him now, I really do remember some good times. Occasionally when I am riding down the road, I will “speak” to him. He used to call me often when I was driving or he was driving, and we had great conversations. I was a pall bearer at his funeral, and I cried that day with a tremendously sad heart.

So anyway, I was driving by and decided to stop by his gravesite. I got out of my car and sat down beside his grave. He is buried there with his 18 year old son Ryan, who passed away at the same time in a tragic drowning accident where Kyle was trying to save him. I sat there and my thoughts got REAL clear. They got clear because I realized that no matter what was going on in my life today, it really is very temporary. It will pass. Even if it is a good thing to do, the task is still temporary. What is important is the people you meet and what you allow to transpire with them. We leave a mark on each other each time we pass. I decided that moment to go make some good marks on people I encountered (as Kyle had done for me), and focus on THEM instead of the “task”. Thinking of Kyle reminded me of that. I am not sure whether those who have passed before us can actually hear us speak, but I said, “Thank you”, anyway to Kyle.

Now my stress was not all gone, but my perspective certainly changed. I felt much better after I left, and the smile I had was from another visit to my friend Kyle. I realized that just like when he was alive, I left his presence…..

….. with a smile and a lighter heart.

  1. Jay Hanson says:

    Ash Wed is a good day to be thinking about all this.

  2. ALyson Tucker says:

    Your story about Kyle Hinson was very heartwarming especially after having just lost a dear friend myself.. She died from a long bout with cancer and her funeral was yesterday..She was only 33 years old.. I know the hole left in my heart by her death will eventually heal..And, I know that as time moves on, I will see clearly that the deposits made in my life by her will live on and on….

    Thank you for sharing your special story with us..

  3. Dennis Rice says:

    Thanks Alyson. Glad you found it.

    I wish I had great words of comfort, but those are hard to come by, even after you have been there. What I can say is that acceptance comes with time, and only you can control how you adjust your thinking as time goes by. Being where you are today is necessary to move through to the next stage. Raw emotions like grief get our attention like nothing else can, and during that time we are able to focus more clearly on the actual feelings we had for the one we lost. I know a number of people who continue to dwell in this stage for a long time, but I encourage you to look forward to tomorrow and focus on the pleasant memories of your friend.

    I won’t assume your religious beliefs or convictions, but will share with you that when dealing with these type situations, my faith is sometimes the only tool that makes me move to the next step. I try and just spend time with God on my own each day, which quiets my emotions very nicely.

    I enjoy my memories of Kyle, and as a result I think do a better job building better memories with those still with me. My thoughts of Kyle result in me appreciating more those around me each day.

    Thanks for sharing…

  4. Terri Lorenz says:

    I have often thought, with regret, that I did not have the pleasure of knowing Kyle or Ryan. However, by being know and knowing Jenn plus observing the glory of her countenance, it is clear to me that Kyle was a man who understood what it meant to love, honor and cherish his wife as himself as well as his offspring. How I praise God for this witness and the power it has produced through Jenn and the shadow that both Ryan and Kyle cast upon dear, dear Taylor and us all.

    May we redeem our time and be continually aware of how fragile life can be as we attempt to serve the one who made us.

  5. Valerie Mead says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart and memories. It really does bring focus to what is real.
    I have realized through the lost of an uncle recently, the powerful impact that we can have on others (because he did). They say that light is only visible when it is the source of light (ex: contrasting against darkness) or when it is reflecting off something. So, the memories that we have are the light from our love ones being relected in us. It continues their legacy. They are with us forever and continue to shape our lifes.


  6. Jay Hanson says:

    I have never been really into Lent before, but this year I am trying. Ash Wed. was particularly touching in connection with your post. We are all ashes and to ash we will return. It is important and beneficial to remember to live with the end in mind. Or I guess I should say with the next chapter in mind.

  7. Dalisa Hoffman says:

    I enjoyed your story and reflection about your friendship with Kyle Hinson. He and Jen were/are our next door neighbors and Jen and Taylor still are here next to us. We are blessed to have them and so very blessed to have known Kyle and Ryan. The world needed more people like Kyle Hinson. His kind acts and words were so comforting and his great personality was something a lot only wish to have. He was a “friend”….to us and we loved him dearly. I often told him that I had never witnessed a father spend so much quality time with his children. He was truly a family man. I do find comfort in remembering him spending so much time with Taylor …..they played ball in the front yard many evenings, rode the golf cart out and about and took them all on many great trips. Every second with them was what he wanted most and like many, his career would often take him away for a little while. He certainly made up for it when he would get back. The most precious memory I play over and over in my mind is coming home many afternoons and seeing Kyle walking and little Taylor riding his little bike beside him down the street. I will never let that memory fade. Kyle was a “brother” type friend to me and I felt a special bond with him. My father died almost 4 months prior to Kyle’s passing and he was so kind to talk to me about it for I was devastated. Of course, people are busy with work and children, etc., however, who do I look up and see at the funeral and burial of my father…….Kyle and Jen. They were the best….family I had ever known. We still feel grateful to have Jen and Taylor here with us and hope they will be for a while longer. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and it allowed me to share some of mine! The photos were a perfect reflection of the real Kyle.

  8. Andrea Bracken says:


    What a lovely tribute to a true friend. I too knew Kyle, although only for a short time and quite some time ago, (over 30 years). However, he had enough impact on my life for me to put his name into a search engine, only to discover that he is gone. From your story, and the responses of others who knew him, it’s obvious he grew into a wonderful man, friend, husband and father. My thoughts and prayers are with you and all whose life he touched.

  9. Dennis Rice says:

    Thanks Andrea. Kyle does not leave me, he is still there. Funny how I think of him in the strangest moments. Seems as though we are still building memories, when in reality are just reliving great ones. I sill talk to him on occasion.

    I am glad to have known him.

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