As the huge waves of people poured into Eastridge Church, there was a loving and welcoming vibe all around that could be felt. Old friends, new friends, family members who hadn't been seen in years, and strangers alike had all come together to celebrate the life of a man who made lives better for all of those around him
Jeremy was not a person would not leave an impact on a person, no matter how short of a time was spent with him. A few months back, our photographer Jess had the honor of photographing their family while at Jeremy's care facility. Jeremy and his wife, Amy, along with their twin daughters Macy and Maddy, and their son Morrison. You can read all about Jess' visit here. During our Birthday Party (which can be found here) for his daughters, the girls were a direct reflection of what a wonderful person Jeremy was, and what Amy is as well. Loving and kind-hearted, it was wonderfully refreshing to see young women that were so strong and caring, despite everything that they were going through.
Looking around the church foyer, I noted all kinds of beautiful small details. Photo collages showing some of the best times of Jeremy's life were taped all around for us to admire, and small postcards asking people to write down their favorite memories of him.
As the church doors closed, the soothing and beautiful sound of a ukulele echoed through the entire building. Jeremy loved Hawaii, and a family friend honored his service with her talents by helping service guests fully immerse themselves with not only loving visuals placed around the service, but allowing them to hear the music he loved so much. Looking around, the church was standing room only, in fact, the auditorium doors had to remain open as a spillway for people as there wasn't enough space in the auditorium itself.
When the service began, guests were urged to stand and sing along with songs that were beautifully performed by close family friends. As the songs went on, the mood in the room softened from the excitement of seeing familiar faces, to more focused and somber as people reflected on their memories with Jeremy.
The service itself was beautiful. Friends and family members spoke with lots of tears, but also lots of laughter. It was very apparent that not only was Jeremy a great guy, he was so, so loved by everyone.
As the service came closer to an end, we heard from Jeremy's children. Heart-wrenching and beautiful, their speeches (and a poem) were so precious and a perfect tribute to Jeremy's legacy.
When the service was over, we stayed for just a few minutes to watch people show their love and compassion for the Farrara family. Embraces were long and loving, and when I peeked over to the seating area, I noticed Morrison having a playful tickle fight with his great uncle Mark. It was the perfect end to the event, watching such joy and love resonate.
Jeremy Farrara is someone who was clearly incredibly loved by all whose lives he touched. His legacy lives on through his beautiful family, and being a part of this celebration of life was something that I will never forget. Thank you to the Farrara family for having me, it was an honor.
Venue: Eastridge Church in Clackamas, Oregon