Letter: How he touched my life

By on September 23, 2010

It was a cold winter’s day in December, when I heard a knock at my door. When I opened the door, there stood two policemen, one with his head hung down to the ground and the other with a sad look, not only on his face, but in his eyes as well.

Come to find out, the police whom had looked so sad was Chief Smith of the Elburn Police Department. He was coming to do the hardest part of his job; he had to tell me that they had found my 17-year-old son’s body in an alley in Chicago.

My son was gone, a life cut short.

Mr. Smith stayed with me until a family member could arrive; he knew there was no way he could leave me alone.

I don’t remember much from that day; however, I do recall Mr. Smith telling me that I should call Bruce Conley, to get Michael’s body back to Elburn and to start making funeral arrangements. That was the last thing I wanted to to, yet it needed to be done.

So a family member did just that; they called Conley Funeral Home and spoke to Bruce. A short time later, Bruce was walking through my door.

With tears running down my face, I said to him, “Your kids are not supposed to die before you.”
And Bruce, a man whom I had never met before, looked at me as though he felt my pain, and said “I know,” and gave me a big hug.

Well, after the funeral was over and my family went back to their lives as though nothing happened, I was left alone. I knew I couldn’t do this by myself, so I once again called Conley’s funeral home.

Bruce was such a caring, loving and compassionate person who always knew just what to say to comfort me. We would spend countless hours talking about my son, my life and what kinds of things I could do to help me.

Bruce had become not only a funeral director to me, but a friend. He had a heart of gold; he was a gift from God to me. If it wasn’t for Bruce and the other staff members at Conley’s, I don’t know if I would be here right now. I have Bruce and all of them to thank, for helping me to move on with my life.

Bruce was a wonderful man, and anyone that knew him, I’m sure would agree. The town of Elburn grieves for you now, Bruce. You will be deeply missed.

To Kris and the Conley family, my heart goes out to you.

Cathy Reinert