The Words of the Richardson Family

Jacob Richardson, Son of Mike and Soonja Richardson passed in May

Jeffrey and Young-nam Tallakson
June 29, 2010

The memorial service to mark the ascension of Jacob Richardson went very well and proved to me once again how incredibly spiritual and loving our membership is and how wonderful Unification Culture is -- that can take loss of a beloved life and bring down God to replace grief and regret with celebration and embrace. (Recently I attended a Seunghwa at the Church for someone I did not know, just because I knew I would meet Heavenly Father there, and I did.)

Jake's was a kind if death that is difficult to talk about and that causes guilt in parents and siblings. I am grateful for Rev. Kevin Thompson who is an extraordinarily good pastor and good man and brother. Kevin and his wife were there sacrificially, giving up Sunday Service and a meeting in New York with In Jin Nim, just to help a family in their time of need. He officiated so well. Relatives and friends flew in and drove up with very little notice. There were a lot of non-Unificationists in the audience and Rev. Thompson explained what I believe is a Rev. Moon original -- the explanation of the afterlife using the life in the womb analogy.

Farley Jones opened in prayer. Rev. Thompson set the tone with his words and heart. He read condolences from Rev. In Jin Moon. Mike Richardson, the father of Jacob, gave a heartfelt speech about the challenges of parenting. Jacob's mother sang a beautiful Korean song for us and for Jacob. Jake's 3 sisters and their husbands each shared remembrances. All spoke of how much Jake loved his grand parents, who were present. Patrick and Myunghee Hickey took time out of his campaign for a Nevada Assembly seat to attend. Patrick reminded Jake's parents and sisters that Jake's course was his own; there is no room for guilt and regret; Jake is still with them, on a higher plane.

Time came for anyone, who felt so, to share. There were about a dozen guests no one knew except Jake. several of these rose to speak and what they said surprised us and Jake's family. These were Jake's colleagues from his "team" at Sun Microsystems. They were clearly very moved by the service. Also there were his landlord and other colleagues from Jake's former employer, Oracle. His supervisor testified that in his life he met only one or two others who had the genius at programming that Jake had. He was very loved by this very international group of Silicone Valley pros, who said that besides his heart and kindness, and his genius will be missed.

At the end we all shared lunch together and I marveled how grief and regret had been replaced by celebration and love. 

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