Joseph Mark Friedheim
In Loving Memory
(Sentiment shared at Joe's funeral)
The definition of the chain is: a sequence of items of the same type forming a line. Chains are flexible, they secure, they support.
But our family chain is broken. We all know the link Joe was for each of us. Your uncle. Your husband. Our brother. Your dad. Your son.
This Celtic prayer touches me so I'd like to share it with you.
Do not hurry as you walk with grief. It does not help the journey. Walk slowly, pausing often. Do not hurry as you walk with grief. Be not disturbed by memories that come unbidden. Swiftly forgive and let Christ speak for you unspoken words. Unfinished conversations will be resolved in him. Do not disturbed. Be gentle with the one who walks with grief. If it is you, be gentle with yourself. Swiftly forgive, walk slowly, pausing often. Take time be gentle as you walk with grief.
Let's mend our broken chain. Chains are flexible, they secure, they support.
I love you Joe. So... Sleep on my brother. Sleep tight.
(Message given at the funeral mass)
Joe, being the only boy among five sisters, was often asked “How do you do it with five sisters and no brothers, you poor guy?“ And he would say, as it was all he knew, that it was great! He didn’t seem to miss not having a brother because he loved all his sisters so much. He loved ALL his family so much and it was the most important thing in life to him.
Joe and I had a meaningful conversation when he was living in transitional housing. He informed me he was required to attend three meetings a week, and Church attendance could count for one of those meetings. I asked which church he was going to and he said “the Catholic Church, of course”. He said he would bring a couple guys with him who weren’t Catholic, but they enjoyed it. Being his religious Catholic big sister, I commended him on his choice, acknowledging he could have attended the closest church nearby to “check the box”. I get excited about things like that, and proceeded to gush about the amazing “pearl of great price” we have in the Eucharist, where Jesus is truly present with us: body, blood, soul and divinity! He exclaimed in Joe fashion, “Yeah, totally!” The Catholic Church was still his spiritual home, and that’s why we celebrate this funeral mass for him today. When we receive the Eucharist—holy communion— we are unified with him in the “communion of saints.” As unfamiliar, strange, or confusing as the mass might be to some, I believe Joe is comforted and very blessed to have us celebrate this funeral mass for him as a fitting spiritual send-off into the afterlife. Godspeed, Joe, my sweet sweet brother.
You left us so early, my precious brother. I will miss your gregarious sense of fun, your "I love you"s, the ease I felt when I was around you, and your awesome hair cuts or lack their of. May you find peace and watch over us. You will be in my heart always.
Your loving sister, Teresa
When I lived in Taiwan many years ago, I learned about a concept called Tian Fen.
Imagine 2 strings in space, one is you and the other is someone you interact with. All of us here have Tian Fen with each other and all of us had Tien Fen with Joe. Now imagine Joe Friedheim as one string and you are the other. Every interaction you had with Joe has your two strings connecting. Perhaps sometimes you had a lengthy deep connection with him, and your strings intertwined for a long while. Now his string has been cut. We can no longer have Tien Fen with him, and it's painful for us. But I still hold memories of him and the 46 years of Tien Fen I see in my mind of our strings interacting.
Tian Fen with my precious little brother is no more. And although in recent years our connection wasn't as strong as it used to be, I know that he loved me and like to believe that he knew I loved him. Perhaps he took all that love we had for him with him, and is soaring free from his pain and earth bound struggles.
My tears for my precious little brother will never stop flowing. And that's ok. But life does go on and he would have wanted us to live it up as much as we can and love each other well. He loved big and deep and when he wasn't struggling with pressures or temptations, he lived a good life in the moment. Although he wasnt perfect, none of us are, he was a good man with a big heart.
We all experience this gift of life. We have this precious opportunity to witness what it means to be alive. This includes all of it, the 10,000 joys and the 10,000 sorrows.
Let us live it by loving each other and being there for each other. My favorite saying is from confucious: When shared, Joy is doubled and sorrow, halved.
I love you, Little Bro! You will be in my heart forever. ❤️
We were so very sorry to hear of Joey's death. We like to remember back to the time when he and Andy were friends and the smiles on their faces even when they were causing trouble. Please accept our sincere sympathy to all in the family. We miss all of you. Love, The Schroeders
Margie and Louis. I send you my deepest condolences and prayers. I am so sorry for you and your family
I am out of town and so sorry to not be at the memorial but know I am in spirit
Joe had a tremendous personality that would light up the room. He was a good friend who was inclusive to everyone. Joe left us way too soon.
I can still hear Joe's contagious laugh and see his bright smile.
We were classmates at Jesuit College Prep in Dallas. He welcomed me into his circle of fun even though I was an awkward kid, which still means a lot to me. But that's the kind of guy Joe was. He could make anyone feel cool
Joe always seemed to have a smile on his face, even when he wasn't exactly happy.
Even while writing this, I can feel his magnetic personality. I haven't met anyone else like him.
I'm lucky to have known him and basked in his light, as are many others he touched over the years.
He will not be forgotten. I'm sorry he left us too soon.
I went to Jesuit with Joe and from our first PE class freshman year to our last day Senior year, he was always great to me. Always put a smile on my face. He helped me out on more than one occasion with girl issues, which were so important during those years. I remember him sitting at our table during one of the reunions and he lit the whole table up with his great smile, wonderful personality, and awesome recollections of our times together. The world is a less bright place without Joe in it. He was a good man. A "Man for Others". He will be missed. Rest In Peace Joe. AMDG
Matt Castro '94