Eric Bergren Celebration of Life

Eric Bergren Celebration of Life

[Music] will never his faithfulness goes away [Music] in of these [Music] is is [Music] and he will raise you up [Music] like [Music] oh lord jesus [Music] the still jesus is [Music] still today precious welcome everyone to the celebration of the life of eric beloved husband father uncle son and friend my name is danielle vergara i am the niece of eric on behalf of the bergrin and medina family let me express the family’s gratitude for your presence today the journey of grief is long and for those that walk it shouldn’t have to walk it alone in times like these nothing takes the place of your unique memories and relationship your presence here today helps everyone realize how valuable eric was to others and shows what an impact he made in your lives it is truly touching to see that all those here loved eric and are gathered together to celebrate him today we honor a man who touched many lives and we will stop to hear the stories to laugh to cry together once again and to acknowledge that we are all different because eric was in our lives with that allow me to introduce james who is going to be leading us in our opening prayer please join me in a prayer dear lord we’re grateful for all the family and friends who could join together to remember a very special man a son a brother a husband a father a grandfather an uncle and for so many friend thank you lord for eric’s life and all the years that we were able to share with him we lift him up to you today in honor of all the good that we saw in him and all the love we felt for him so grateful and blessed to have called him my uncle and to have learned and grown so much please give us the strength to leave him in your care in the knowledge of the eternal life through our son dear son jesus christ amen [Music] i can only imagine what it will be like by your side i can only imagine [Music] what my eyes will see when your face is before me i can only imagine i can only imagine [Music] surrounded by your glory what will my heart feel will i dance for you be jesus will i stand in your presence or to my knees or will i fall will i sing hallelujah will i be able to speak it all i can only imagine [Music] i can only imagine i can only imagine when that day comes and i find myself standing in the sun [Music] i can only imagine yeah i can only imagine [Music] surrounded by your glory what will my heart feel will i dance for you jesus worrying all of you be still will i stand in your presence or to my knees or will i fall will i sing hallelujah will i be able to speak it all i can only imagine oh i can only imagine [Music] oh we’re surrounded by your glory what will my heart feel will i dance for you jesus oh and all of you be still will i stand in your presence or to my knees [Music] oh i can only imagine [Music] i can only imagine [Music] it’s hard so it’s hard to know what to say about someone that has been a role model to me my whole life dad always enjoyed telling me all the things he did when he was my age let’s just say he lived his youth to the fullest there was no medium speed for him it was always full throttle when i was a teenager dad used to always tell me don’t even think about doing it because i’ve already done it twice my whole life my dad was always trying to teach me how to fix things how to be wise with money and all the things i might need to know in life when i was young i didn’t really want to listen but over the past few years i got to learn so much from my dad i only wish i had more time with him some of the things i learned from my dad were to always help your neighbor if you borrow something always return it in as good or better condition and to work harder than anyone else around you he would tell me never stand around find something to do that is the kind of person my dad was always working always helping someone always thinking of others i’ve heard a lot of stories of how fun and wild my dad was in his youth but that is different than what i grew up seeing my dad was a family man that always wanted to provide the best for his family he loved us unconditionally and he was always there for me i hope someday i can be the kind of family man my dad was to me thank you all for being here to celebrate his life in the late 80s i met eric he worked with a friend of mine he fit in with my friends and we all started hanging out when the lease was up on my apartment i was living in eric offered me a room to rent in his house we became very good friends from then on we would get together with friends to go snowmobiling four-wheeling deer hunting boating jet skiing target shooting camping on the 40 up north or we would just meet up to have a beer and plan our next adventure i remember one winter eric myself and our friend paul went snowmobiling on prior lake paul’s snowmobile broke down so paul rode on the back with eric he was like 20 below but that didn’t stop us from skipping across the open water under the bridge to the ice on the other side i did it once but they’d kept doing it over and over each time starting from a shorter distance eventually they did not they did not make it and sank into the water they both had to climb out soaking wet in the freezing cold that was eric fearless eric taught me the right way to do carpentry auto mechanics wearing plumbing etc it seemed like he knew how to do everything after eric and belinda got married i met syldia and we were married and our families became one at that point sylvia loved eric like a father and mentor he helped her buy her first car and explained how important it was to maintain it and how to read a map he helped her with school work like physics projects and house projects she valued his opinion if eric approved then it was all right eric was always there for her to my kids he was always uncle eric teaching the kids how to do things he always tried to make the kids see the big picture and turned a chore or project into a learning opportunity at the lake cabin he took them tubing or skiing behind his boat uncle was uncle eric was always there for everyone lending a helping hand eric always made a point to call his family and friends on a regular basis he was always always there for me too eric was my best friend the first time i met eric is when my wife then girlfriend uh eric’s niece asked if i wanted to go get drinks with her and her aunt and her husband i was excited to meet her family so of course i agreed i met eric and exchanged pleasantries and it wasn’t long after he told me what he did for a living he said he was an electrician at the time i heard this i had the ears of a arrogant young first-year ironworker apprentice and i thought oh boy a sparky it’s the guy who pulls around cables and hauls some pvc pipes but as i got to know eric over the next uh 10 minutes in the next 13 years i eric became someone i absolutely look up to and admired as a brother in the trades he was anything but a wimp who would just carry around pvc pipes and wires the guy was a tough guy i just remember him telling me about how he’d get up in the morning at three in the morning to work on the basement to finish it off and then he’d come home after working 10 hours and keep going at it and then find time to spend time with his kids he’s quite the father figure uh and his work ethic was second to none i really admired him for that and i also admired him for his heart being in the trades he kind of knew what being with an iron worker a lot of danger and he always really cared for me and he’d call me and ask you know how i was doing especially on the days where it was like negative 30. and he called me from like a warm place at the time so i don’t know if he was trying to mess with me or not but he was always really concerned for me and uh just had a heart of gold such a heart of gold that uh we would talk about it being cold out all the time and um he loved bull socks so one christmas he bought me some mole socks and they became my favorite socks and my feet i swear it didn’t get cold at all that winter such a blessing as an older guy in the trade he was just so encouraging to me he always looking out for me and uh you know just so thankful for his generous heart and just being there as a family friend for us and i always looked up for him for being a husband and father and uh just his dedication to his job and his family is something i might remember from time on these are a few memories from eric’s sisters lisa and candy from my mother lisa the desire to build to create started early in life for eric when he was three he got a play tool set for christmas by bedtime the sister’s new doll sets were cut apart because he needed wood for building dad’s alarm clock was in hundreds of pieces because he needed screws riding bikes in the alleys was a must on garbage day the old lawn mower would become a go-kart and bike parts were always a good find he’d find a way to get parts make parts whatever it took he built it all bikes skateboards mini bikes motorcycles cars houses boats once built it was all about play racing it was about people eric loved people if he called you at six in the morning and you were quiet because people in your house were sleeping you would ask why are you all still sleeping life is busy eric had one speed go for my aunt candy eric was not only my brother but he was also my friend we took care of each other and pushed each other in many ways not always in a good way but we both knew how to dig our heels in when we were four and five years old we shared a blue schwinn bike eric didn’t want the training wheels on anymore so he took them off and said i either had to learn how to ride it or put them back on myself when we were older and the first bike i ever bought was stolen he was there and made sure i got it back yeah he tattled on me too the day i got my driver’s license he caught me doing donuts and mom’s red station wagon he told on me and got the car taken away but secretly he was kind of impressed as well he always let me drive his cars the malibu 98 olds the mustang to my favorite the baja bug even the crotch rocket yeah i was glad when he got rid of that too much power between him and his friends i knew more about cars and engines than any girl should know thank you for teaching me so many things not every brother would put his sister’s jeans on to stretch them because they were too tight to wear i would do anything for him including signing my life away on his first mortgage to the richfield house and living with his crazy friends i wouldn’t change a thing belinda just like todd you had to pass a sibling test obviously you passed i have memories from every day of my life with him that i will never forget i love you and will never forget you relax now i’m not in your program but my name is zachary bergen-holcomb i’ll be sharing a few memories on behalf of my mother eric’s sister anita growing up with eric was nothing but adventure and fun we were allowed the freedom to run and oh did we i have so many memories there simply isn’t enough time to share them all because every day with eric was a full rich day we ran fast and there was no looking back our adventures took us from season to season in the fall we made mudslides in mom’s garden mom would lock us out of the house until dad got home to hose us down that hose got a lot of use in the winter we would walk home in our ice skates because the warming house was closed due to below zero weather on the way we stopped at the gas station to warm up and spent our emergency phone dime on a candy bar to share instead of calling home for a ride our adventures got bigger and bigger and bolder as we got older hooking onto car bumpers on a snowy day slalom skateboarding coming home late to dinner covered in motocross mud from bureau of mines my last fast ride with eric wasn’t his corvette it was a fun car to drive not only only eric could truly make it sing and that made for a great ride eric’s need for speed was contagious so many of us blessed to have gone on rides with him there were physical miles between us but never any distance once to mom’s dismay he and jake took off on christmas day to come see me in vegas eric wanted to talk to me in person on the way they ended up driving in the blizzard and landed in a ditch in utah they spent the night huddled together to keep warm they put on every bit of clothing they had including underwear which they used as headgear they dug out the next morning and made it to my place we had our heart-to-heart talk and later we welcomed chelsea into the family family meant so much to eric he loved his wife and all of his children deeply and was at his happiest when he was with them doing anything at all he loved taking brandon and brianna for rides on anything with a motor and he was so excited to become a grandpa he couldn’t wait to take audrey on her first rides eric had a big heart and found room for everybody family friends and acquaintances he would always be there for you no matter what he was unstoppable a short time ago linda said to me you know your brother you can’t stop him there’s so much to do in this life and eric wanted to do it all eric i know you are still looking for the next thing to do and have no doubt you will do it no matter what a lot of people i didn’t know eric knew this many otherwise i wouldn’t have agreed to do this so i’m bob bobby bobbity eric uh would say that in my ear just endlessly um that was one of his things um i’ve known eric for more than 40 years i’m not exactly sure exactly how old it was when i met him but the first words that came from his mouth when i did meet him was got an allen ranch what got an allen wrench and there i was i had uh just finished my paper out yes paper route and uh i did that on my benelli little mini bike a little italian motorcycle and i was just turning the corner down 52nd street heading along key waiting there and there was this wiry scrappy kid broken down on the side of the road with his go-kart and uh so i pulled up to him i was drawn to him like a magnet because he had something motorized and uh there he was trying to push that thing home and you know he was on the other side of town probably five six blocks away where i was only a block away from my house so i zipped home he knew the size he needed um seven thirty seconds so that’s how i met eric and that is when i discovered uh you know our like for each other was due to mechanical things he anything with a engine you know we were both drawn to that the other thing about that was we both enjoyed speed and going fast which apparently other people knew about that trait as well some may have considered it reckless i disagree and so did eric it was just us having fun we had speed in our veins you know we just loved it um a little while later uh when we actually had driver’s licenses uh although one of my vehicles was broken down i’m sure and so i was walking home from school just about to cross over the bridge over the creek on 30th avenue and along comes this guy flying on a motorcycle literally jumped the entire creek and just right over us and says whoa what was that that was eric that was eric on his uh he had this pretty kick-ass xr 500 honda i think it was uh and he just kept great on going you know didn’t stop to come back just he knew he had impressed us a couple years later um i rented a house 35th and 25th with some other buddies and uh there’s a knock at the door and i go to the door and there’s eric check it out bob and i look outside and i’m like what is this uh it looked like a spaceship’s in there i had not even seen one of these things while it was a ninja and uh you know just blown away and uh what what are you doing with this what bought it just bought it he literally had just bought it uh i put the kawasaki dealer up on lake street and uh first stop my house and uh second thing he did was demonstrate his ability to ride wheelies on that thing he was talented in so many ways and he was so smart and he was good at riding anything uh that xr500 he could ride a wheelie on that with me on the back with a duffel bag and a sleeping bag strapped on the gas tank he could hardly reach the handlebars and you know we’re on the freeway and next next to a car load full of chicks and up it goes you know and he could go for as long as he wanted to uh and change changed lanes you know doing a wheelie uh he was so good and you know i trusted him and he trusted me you know that i wouldn’t fall off i wouldn’t let go uh that was about it uh riding on that ninja of his that was just a whole nother level of speed of course um most of those stories i don’t know there’s if there’s any cops here or not but well dan dan liz holmes retired so but yeah that ninja dang you know um then there were all the cars and i think they’re you know they’re all pretty well known to all of us kids from back then um everything was mint you know eric minted everything out and uh well the malibu though i don’t know uh that was mint in his mind but uh the malibu okay that was just uh just a malibu uh my my wife coined it the male of beauty um but yeah he he minted everything out you could just see his wheels spin in his brain as he was looking at something and it didn’t matter a a boat a bike a motorcycle a house a cab and you know he would just think about it and boom that thing would be torn apart down to nothing and he would put it back together and minted it out he just had no fear of digging into any project it just didn’t seem no matter what it was he even minted out a lawn mower that he had at the house on 12th avenue there which he could also ride wheelies on that as well this this might come to a surprise to some here that eric liked to tease he was a needler and i don’t know if he got that because he grew up in a family of three sisters but i was a pretty good target for that needling and uh he he liked to come up with these elaborate ways that my 1960 falcon could not spin the tires he would just make up these ridiculous ways that my my car couldn’t spin the tires and he always had a gleam in his eye you know he always just had a smile on his face so he was a great guy and he will be missed for sure wow so i’d like to say some words on behalf of my work group and xl energy eric joined our group about four years ago first time i met him was at his interview and again always smiling a little bit of a smirk he was really nervous he actually kind of botched it a little bit his legs were bouncing and but i knew we had to have him on the team so so we gave him a shot um anyway he ate a great resume eric had a wealth of knowledge ton of experience just tons of experience in our trade um best fiber optic guy that i’ve ever worked with i feel very fortunate to be part of the group and eric felt the same way he had recently commented to me that this was the best group of guys he’d ever worked with and he fit right in he had a strong work ethic i’d try to get to work you know i try to be to work about 6 30 we start at 7 30. eric always beat me to work and i’d walk into the room and he’s always hi steve and i’m going to miss that so so i asked my guys to uh email email me give me some stories and some thoughts about eric and uh i got a handful a handful of stuff with a common theme so um so i’m gonna read off some of the quotes from guys now eric was always willing to help out in any situation he went out of his way to help and teach others he would drop what he was doing to help you out even if it meant working overtime on a friday night or staying late at a wind farm eric stepped up and offered dry socks to ricky another sock story apparently ricky got a set of boots wet on a job and he had spare boots but no socks eric had a spare set of socks eric was easy to talk to the first time you met him you felt like you knew him your your whole life always had a smile on his face always upbeat he never seemed to have a bad day he was a great friend and co-worker he was a role model for all of us and he made those around him strive to be better eric will be missed by all of us and impossible to replace psalm 23 the lord is my shepherd i shall not want he makes me lie down in green pastures he leads me beside the still waters he restores my soul he leads me in the path of righteousness for his name’s sake though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death i will fear no evil for you are with me your rod and your staff they comfort me you prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies you anoint my head with oil my cup runs over surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and i will dwell in the house of the lord forever isaiah 41 10 so do not fear for i am with you be not dismayed for i am your god i will strengthen you i will help you i will uphold you with my righteous right hand invite you to stand as we sing this hymn amazing grace together [Music] yes [Music] so [Music] [Music] well it is a real privilege to be able to celebrate eric’s life but more than that to celebrate eric’s eternal life because eric uh it’s kind of i’m listening to all these stories and i’m thinking yeah boy that sure fits with everything i’ve experienced in eric i can believe that but he also loved his lord and that was also a big part of his life you know i as we come today as i expressed with the family it was uh it was a shock to me when uh and i hadn’t heard the news of of eric’s eric’s death and i just want to say it’s hard to make sense of death sometimes when terry and i my wife were first married our cousin had a little baby boy that died of sids very suddenly similar to eric’s sudden death and we called it a tragedy and it is i think we’d all agree but back on august 1st a few days ago my mom of 96 died after a long time in dementia and pain and everybody calls it a relief and it is but it’s interesting that both of that calls out a certain amount of fear from all of us joey the little boy that died well we were pregnant just a few months later and is it ungodly for a pastor to say that i had a lot of fear and my mom as i talk to people and as i think about it myself watching her die over a period of about 10 years little by little i heard a lot of people say that they didn’t want to have to endure what she did now today we celebrate eric’s life and we should but we also mourn his death and we acknowledge and we need to acknowledge the fear that that brings um we don’t want to die which is why i really appreciate the scriptures that were chosen psalm 23 isaiah 41 10 so do not fear for i am with you do not be dismayed for i am your god i will strengthen you and help you i will uphold you with my righteous right hand was written to people who are under the fear of death that god was calling into something higher and greater in moments like these as we approach this eric’s tragic accident there are suddenly so many questions this gaping hole of the unknown opens up in front of us and we question god god are you really good that this would happen why didn’t god stop him from falling and what will life be like without him and how do we move forward and these are very deeply emotional questions difficult questions and sometimes we conclude that obviously we can’t trust god because eric died before we wanted him to but these passages tell us and call us to just the opposite direction these passages that were read to you and to me today call us to faith in this moment now now some people refuse to either believe in god or to maybe they’ll believe in god but refuse to trust him because of the presence of sin and pain and death and all that is in this world but i want to challenge you today if you’re in that camp i want to challenge you that there are others of us who see exactly those same things and it calls us toward god it calls us to believe to trust him and the bible tells us this in these verses that were just read to you even though we have a tendency sometimes to abandon god when it feels like he’s far away when we’re afraid when we’re frustrated when we’re confused i want to tell you today he never abandons you he never abandons you right now listen to this verse again so do not fear for i am with you do not be dismayed for i am your god i will strengthen you and help you i will uphold you with my righteous right hand it is precisely in these moments that god comes to us and says now is the time to lean into me because you are not alone you are not alone let me give you strength when you feel weak let me help you when you don’t know what to do so that we can grieve but not fear and we can mourn our loss and not lose hope now how do we do that and that’s where i think psalm 23 is such a powerful passage of scripture i know it’s it’s kind of one that’s kind of just kind of in the in the culture in some ways but i want you to listen to the promise that’s here for us there’s a reason it was chosen today and let the lord be your shepherd the lord is my shepherd i lack nothing i just want to ask you today are you letting the lord be your shepherd today then what will we do i love this passage it says he’s going to do two things the first thing this is he’s going to stay with us even when we are walking through the valley of the shadow it says he makes me lie down in green pastures he leads me besides quiet waters he refreshes my soul he guides me along the right path for his namesake even though i walk through the darkest valley even though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death my shepherd is there he will provide as we mourn the losses that we experience the many losses that we experience in this broken world he will provide in the valley of the shadow right now he will provide he will provide pastures of rest when we’re weary he will provide waters of refreshment when we are empty he will guide us in the right path when we don’t know what to do belinda brianna brandon he will do this for you so that you can fear no evil you can fear no evil that’s number one because he has a rod and a staff for a shepherd a rod was an uh a implement of defense that could put a dent in a wolf’s head and protect his sheep and we have a god who can do that the staff is the thing that pulls us back when we get confused and when our shepherd sees danger that we don’t and when david who wrote this psalm tells us that we can fear no evil it’s not because there’s no evil to fear we just don’t have to fear it because the shepherd is there and one of the evils we fear is death now we can rebel and refuse god’s love or we can accept it and enjoy it but it is there unwavering and the first thing that he does is he stays with us even though we are walking through the valley of the shadow but the second thing he does is because we don’t have to fear death because he honors us with eternal life beyond this grave you know as you go on he says you know you prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies and you anoint my head with oil when i read that verse i just can’t help but think about another verse of scripture later on in the bible that says this he says that the last enemy to be destroyed is death in the context of that verse is a discussion about the impact of the death and the resurrection of our good shepherd jesus christ and how the resurrection that that he had conquered death and how those who put their hope in him have the hope of resurrection and a hope of eternal life and that this death eric’s death is not the end of derek’s of eric’s life do you have that hope today is it deep in your soul or do you just look to death and have a hope so hey i hope it all works out god sent his son to die on the cross so that you could live with a sure hope because god loves you god loves you death does not have the last word in eric’s life and it does not have to have the last word in yours the bible is clear that it can have the last word but god has a way of life for you today i think about this passage he prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies i just have this picture in my head of death peeking through the window and right now there is eric sitting at the table in god’s kingdom with a goofy grin on his face and jesus saying try the gray stuff it’s delicious by the way i want you to understand something about heaven i believe the devil has just really convinced us of something really bad about heaven one is that it’s going to be boring because you know we’re just going to sit and rest and we’re just not going to have anything to do by the way read your bible you’re going to find out four things about heaven first of all yes it is a place of rest you’re gonna find out it’s a place of worship because you’re gonna be in the presence of the most beautiful one but it’s also a banquet that jesus tells a story that would hint that he himself will serve now i want to eat that banquet and it also tells us and you know for all that we talked about eric and fixing things and building things if you read revelation read the last chapter just go to the last chapter of the bible if you’ve never read it and you’re going to read that god’s got something for him to do and it wouldn’t surprise me if it had to do with motors but folks that’s heaven you know hell isn’t the place you go play with your friends heaven is and i want to call you there i want you to be there with us i want heaven i want to let you know eric knew his lord and i want to i love the way that psalm 23 ends um because here’s the truth we just have to face you know we face god’s goodness in this broken world um we have to make choices whether we will or not and and the truth of the matter is you know we all make bad choices we all screw up but god sent his son to make the way to bring us back to him and and i love verse six where it says surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life that means our good shepherd has two border collies that will always nip at our heels his goodness and his love will chase us until we dwell in the house of the lord forever if he is your shepherd today isn’t that good news if he’s committed to you you can’t lose come to him today make him your shepherd i know eric knew his shepherd the last conversation i had with him a couple months ago it was it was clear he knew his shepherd in a personal way and right now he is experiencing the fullness of god’s love and i want to say you know let’s talk about heaven and we say well they’re no longer in pain right it’s kind of one of the things that we say people will tell me that with my mom well she’s no longer in pain as if that’s the best thing that could ever happen but i don’t think that that’s the best thing that could ever happen i want to tell you right now the best thing that could ever happen and what’s happened to eric right now and i think this is what he say i am no longer dealing with sin in my life anymore it’s gone i didn’t realize how much it was dragging me down six of sin is like you know like my uncle came to me a number of years ago just after he had had a heart bypass surgery and he said you know if anybody needs a part bypass surgery tell them to get it i didn’t know how run down and how terrible i felt until they fixed the problem and i didn’t have it anymore and i want to tell you when we get to heaven and sin has gone out of our lives finally and completely and and totally we’re going to go wow i’m living now because i’m not fighting god anymore i’m walking with him and i want to tell you right now that’s what eric is doing that he is more free to be himself than he has ever when he walked this earth and that’s what god wants for you that’s what god wants to do in your life and in mind the truth is we are all going to die to someday but i wanted to ask you do you know how to live jesus said i have come that you would have life and that you would have it to the full that you would have an abundant life an abundant life both now and forever i want to call you today if you have not to put your faith in eric’s shepherd because god loves you you say but i’ve been i’ve been living a totally different life all my life god knows that that’s why christ died for the forgiveness of your sin to bring you back to himself because god loves you let him be your shepherd today if you’ve got questions about that you want to talk about that more you want to you know understand what it may be mean to to have a relationship with christ i i’ll be available i’d love to chat with you um and grab any of the the the people at northridge that you see that are serving they would love to have that conversation with you today as we celebrate eric’s life i want us to walk out of here i know it was it was tragic and it was sudden but it is not over god has saved him and he has eternal life he will not come to us but by the grace of god through faith in jesus christ we can go to him amen you
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Eric Bergren Celebration of Life

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