Words are difficult to find when trying to describe the memorial service for Fouad Kaady. Held at St. George Antiochian Church in Portland, it was beautiful and inspiring. Though we are not members, we were welcomed gladly by those who attended. I watched the young altar boys during the communion and thought about Fouad, who had been just where they were not that long ago. The woman sitting next to me, knowing that we were there to honor Fouad, told me that they miss him very much and that he was a wonderful boy. In the year since his death, I have heard that often.
Rachid, Fouad's father, sang in the choir and sang solo some of the time. I thought about how he must have sung for his son. At the end of the regular service, a small table was set out with candles, a picture of Fouad and the traditional boiled wheat placed by the picture. The priest offered prayers for Fouad and his family.
After the service we were invited to coffee hour in the reception hall. There, the boiled wheat was served along with various other dishes and people came to share their grief with Rachid and Samira. Hard as the day was, I know that the family gained support from those who came to greet them. There were several people whom I recognized from prior events. I am certain that the family felt the warmth of the community. Thank all of you.