Most people know of Bruce Conley as the shoulder to cry on, but I will forever know him as the go-to guy when my family needs help.
It was the summer of 2004 when I first met Bruce Conley. The reason I met him is the same reason why most people meet him: I had lost someone out of nowhere, someone I loved and cared for so much. That person just happened to be my dad.
Back in 2004, I was only 11 years old, so I had never heard of Bruce Conley and his tender heart. As a child, we drove past the Conley Funeral Home all the time when we would pass through Elburn. But never in a million years would I think that our family car would be parked in the funeral home parking lot. But life hands you surprises, and my car did end up parked in the parking lot outside the Conley Funeral Home.
So there I was, staring at that building, knowing that my dad was somewhere inside. I remember being so scared of seeing him. I didnâ€™t know what to think. I knew my family wasnâ€™t ready for this.
But as we started walking toward the front doors, there was a man with the door open, waiting for us. He had a big smile on his face, and this great feel about him. He gave my mom a big hug and introduced himself to us as Bruce Conley, director of this funeral home. He took my family downstairs and he explained to my older brother, my younger sister and I what had happened to my dad and where he was now. He explained everything so tenderly, so we would understand. It was so easy to understand when he was telling us what happened. I remember thinking that he was so confident in what he said. He explained to us not to be scared, but to cherish the great times we had with my dad, and be grateful to see him one last time.
Bruce Conley helped my family for the few days when our lives seemed to be falling apart. While our family and friends seemed to slip away and leave, Bruce Conley and the Conley Outreach family was there to help us along the long road to dealing with grief.
So after everything that Mr. Conley did for my family, I was devastated to hear about him having cancer. I was sad, but I realized I wasnâ€™t sad about not talking to him or seeing him again, because Iâ€™d had my time with him. But I was mostly sad for the people who have yet to meet Bruce, and for the people who will never be able to have a helping hand from Bruce.
This letter is for Bruce Conley. Iâ€™d like to thank him, and share my little memory of Mr. Conley with everyone to see how truly wonderful he is.