Right On, Roland! (or Memorializing Your Role Models)

The day before the election, the Greenwich Village community lost one of its longest guardians: Roland Wiggins.

We all have those family friends that we can’t remember not knowing. Maybe you don’t know the details of their lives, but you can’t really imagine the world without them in it? Roland was one of those dear people to me.

He was the sexton at Judson Church for longer than I’ve been alive. When I was born, my mom was the secretary at Judson and would bring me to work with her. One day at the office, I rolled over (a baby development milestone) and Roland was the first to see me do it! At Roland’s memorial service, my mom recounted the story of how I entertained them for hours that afternoon. The deep love that I felt from Roland made that much more sense.

I was asked to speak at his service, too.

I was honored but realized very quickly that I barely knew much about Roland’s life. I had also never spoken at a memorial before. What could I say?

Continue Reading