Don’t Blink: A Beloved Uncle Reminds Family and Friends about the Importance of Acceptance

“You’ll learn now, if you haven’t already, that we all go through our physical, mental and spiritual struggles while we are on this planet and that the journey here is a short one, no matter how long we live. That’s why, no matter who it is, family, friends, and loved ones or just people we run into on the streets, we treat with love and respect, because we are all going to run into each other again after it’s all said and done.”

~ Howard Kevin Lund

by David T. Bruce

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Every once in a while, we run into someone who impacts our world in a way that we cannot quite identify or articulate. If we are truly fortunate, this person sticks around long enough to communicate a message that reverberates within our psyche and continues to echo long after the person has drifted on.

Perhaps two weeks after our family relocated to the Salt Lake region of Utah, my wife’s Uncle Kevin passed away unexpectedly. He was a vibrant character who loved life and living. He had kind words to say for anyone; he found the good in everyone. And he was anything but a saint. But he embraced life and those around him with a vivacity that would make a person jealous.

On a personal level, I remember how Kevin accepted me without question or qualm into his family and into his world. While we did not get to spend a great deal of time together, I always had the feeling that I could be who I was during the time we did share. I remember him to be a good friend, a good father and a good uncle. He would be there for family, even when others would not or could not.

My youngest children could conjure only elusive memories of the brief time they had to meet Uncle Kevin. For them, funeral services were but a way to connect and commiserate with largely unfamiliar family members. Only vicariously could they gain some sense of the type of person Kevin was and what legacy he left behind.

Howard Kevin Lund is survived by a host of family and friends who are truly fortunate to have been impacted by his company. And he has not left them behind, for his daily contributions to their lives will not be forgotten. Moreover, his philosophy – his belief that “we treat [one another] with love and respect” – can become something that we all aspire to. This is the message that Uncle Kevin not only communicated in words but especially in actions. And this is what I want my children to learn from an uncle they barely knew. That is how we all can honor him.

As I look back on people that I have let slip away and on those people that I have kept at arm’s reach, Kevin’s message echoes through me. We talk to our children about the perils of burning bridges and jeopardizing relationships. As adults, we tend to hold ourselves to a conflicting standard. Kevin demonstrated that actions indeed speak louder than words, and he has set the standard for all of us to follow.

Peace, Kevin.

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