Remembering Our Friend Barry

June 6th 2014 (7) comments so far  

 

Barry2This week at Stonebriar, we are grieving the loss of a coworker and a dear friend. Barry Buchanan, our director of information technology, passed away peacefully Wednesday afternoon after a yearlong battle with brain cancer.

I can’t say I knew Barry very well, at least not in the sense that most people who work here did. I’ve only been here for about a year and a half, Barry worked here for over ten. Our offices are on opposite sides of the building, and often I would go weeks without seeing him. For the first few months of my time here, our interactions were limited to head nods in the hallway.

I remember getting the news about him last year. It was devastating, information I couldn’t imagine processing. To hear the diagnosis that Barry was given, it would have been perfectly acceptable for a person to curl up into a ball and give up, to live the rest of their life in fear.

But Barry didn’t. Instead, he modeled a faith that could move mountains and displayed a love for others that is truly rare.

In February, I went to the emergency room for kidney stones. It happened to be on Valentine’s Day so I came home from the hospital feeling sorry for myself. When I made it back to work a few days later, someone I didn’t expect to see came in to check on me: Barry.

It turns out that he had dealt with kidney stones before and wanted to know how I was doing. That wasn’t the only time he came in to see me, either. Over the next month or so, I got a few more unexpected visits in my office from him.

He had much more to worry about than a guy he barely knew having a couple of kidney stones, but he didn’t let that stop him from loving others selflessly.

During his ordeal, Barry’s faith in his Lord was apparent. This world is deprived of hope, so much so that perfectly healthy people fear death. It’s the end of our time on earth, and for most that is a bleak specter of finality they live with all their lives. But not Barry.

More than once I heard him say, “I’m either going home, or I’m going home.” It wasn’t a brave face he put on, or what he thought people wanted to hear. Barry literally trusted the Lord with his life, regardless of the outcome. We hear growing up in church that we can live with the hope of being with God when we pass. Barry lived out this promise with a conviction that has impacted not just me, but everyone that came into contact with him. It was one of the most courageous displays of faith that I have had the privilege to witness.

To the Buchanan family, I cannot imagine what it is like to lose a spouse, a parent, or a child, and I am truly heartbroken that you have to experience this. We are all mourning that our friend Barry will no longer be around to make us laugh or throw a “lookin’ good!” at you when he catches you fixing your hair in a mirror.

My hope is that you will be comforted by the way Barry has left his mark on all of us. I only knew Barry for a short time, but if his faith and strength left this much of an impact on me, I can only imagine how he touched the rest of the staff here.

The final months of Barry’s life were not lived like it was the end. They were lived with the hope and peace that only those who know the Lord intimately are capable of, and it was evident to everyone around him. While we mourn the end of his time with us, we can rest in the fact that he is with his heavenly Father…and probably already making Him laugh with a web comic.


Comments

  1.  

    Cathy Buchanan June 6th at 4:10 pm  

    Thank you for this beautiful tribute. Barry was truly a man after God’s own heart, and was always taking care of others. There was a day we were running errands and passed a couple outside putting down fresh sod. Without even talking about it, he pulled over, and we helped them get their grass down just in time for it to get dark. It wasn’t something he had to do. Heck, we never even met that couple, and haven’t talked with them since. It was just the kind of random act of kindness that he would do. He lived an example of what a Christian should be, and brought out the good in others.

    I would love to have a copy of this, and any other memories the staff would like to share. He went out of his way to make people laugh, and would do anything for anyone. I know he will be truly missed!

  2.  

    Deborah Cole June 6th at 6:54 pm  

    All my heartfelt prayers go to Barry, Cathy, Grace and Emily! I pray I have an impact on those around me, as Barry had, so when that day comes to join our Lord in Heaven, others will say, “We saw Christ’s love and mercy in what she said and did.” May God’s grace and peace which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love His son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.

  3.  

    Darla June 6th at 6:59 pm  

    I will always remember Barry’s faith. Life changing.

  4.  

    Austin McCollum June 8th at 8:49 pm  

    Rest in peace Barry. You were a top notch technician with a passion for serving. A rare thing in the IT world, you were always willing to share your expertise with others, and i greatly appreciated your solidarity during my tenure at IBC. I hate to see you go, but I loved watching the way you fought til the end. Strong work my brother. My thoughts and prayers go out to your family.

  5.  

    Kathy Goodwin June 10th at 10:46 am  

    Thank you for your blog. Barry was just that…not up front trying to get attention but out there working in the background. He would bring the girls down to get drinks and snacks out of the machines in the HUB and crack jokes telling me about what they had been up to all day. The girls were equally as funny and quick with a retort back at him. I looked forward to their visits and cookie selling time. Barry and Cathy both have given such great testimony for those of us who face hard times and for those of us who haven’t experienced hard times yet. Two of my favorite conversations with Barry concerned his buying a classic old truck to fix up and his eyes and face were animated as he told me about it. The other conversation was about buying a house in Colorado for Cathy. I watched his eyes as he told me about it and shared a few photos. His eyes sparkled and he was so excited that they finally bought it and that Cathy was having fun decorating it.
    I think back to many conversations we had about our families over the years and am grateful to have known him. He made my day when I appeared in an early comic. I read each and every one and almost always left him some crack about the situation or commented on his drawing skills improving.
    I loved the story about the ship yesterday…a sweet image I will remember forever. I pray that we will all spend less time doing things that aren’t important in our walk here on earth and that we spend more of our precious time here trying to be Jesus to others, staying close to God and His word, forming relationships and that our lives will hopefully bring others to know Jesus. Chuck said “This is not our home” so lets work harder on living that way.

  6.  

    Brad Buchanan June 12th at 10:01 am  

    First of all, I have to thank the many wonderful people of Stonebriar. Your kindness and generosity in the Buchanan family’s time of mourning was amazing, but not surprising. A few years back, I had my own medical issues and the Stonebriar family took me as one of their own. Barry was my best friend that just happened to be my brother. We were friends as kids and as adults as well. I am going to miss talking to him every couple days or so. Many people spoke of his sense of humor and I got to witness it for many years. We also got to speak of serious subjects too. His battle was very hard, but he tried his best to not let it show. He fought hard to the very end. He was the toughest guy I’ve ever known. Since I knew him for all his life, I have so many stories about him. He has only been gone a week and I really miss him.

  7.  

    Wendy Monte June 21st at 10:34 am  

    What a lovely tribute… what an inspiring legacy that Barry has left. Praying for and with this family as they grieve the loss of Barry and rejoicing with them as they remember what a joy he was and how his joy is impacting folks like me, who did not know him, even after he has gone on to be with the Lord.

Add Your Thoughts

 

Recent Conversations     

Blog Authors     

Disclaimer

Welcome to our blog. The articles posted here are written by staff, volunteers, and guest authors and are intended for polite discussion, not heated debate. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the teachings of Stonebriar Community Church.

Any articles and other links included here are items the individual authors considered helpful or of interest. Stonebriar Community Church does not necessarily endorse or agree with the content or views expressed on the linked websites nor is it responsible for any information or advertisements on external websites.

 
 
Recently  
Seven Things About Sutherland Springs
Lessons on the Track
Healing from Shame
Find Purpose in the Pain
The Insanity of Fear
Ordinary to Extraordinary
What’s in a Shoebox?
Sharing the Good News
Why Mentoring Teens Matters
Operation Christmas Child: The Countdown Begins
(More)