After what was (arguably) the worst week I've had as a priest, I looked down at the dead body of my friend in a casket and found peace. I've never lost a friend as close as Fr. Bob and it really turned my life upside down for a week or more. I was angry, not at God or the church or doctors, more at circumstances. I was angry that I didn't get to visit him when he was in the hospital. I was angry that Bob died in the first place.
But I had to set that aside when I got to say goodbye. Fr. Bob's classmate, Fr. Dave Schatz, did one of the best priest funeral homilies I've heard. And it helped a lot to have a visit with my spiritual director right after the funeral.
Fr. Bob never looked at me or treated me like I was some know nothing plebe barely able to know how to use the big boy potty. He treated me like a brother, a friend. We'd joke about the difference in ages but, ultimately, there was no arrogance, no snobbishness. There was nothing but respect and I will always respect him for that.