David Oparowski's cancer was terminal. He was only 14 and his condition devastated his parents.
But the bishop of their church began visiting the hospital, comforting the family and befriending the boy.
"They developed a loving friendship," his mother recalled 33 years later.
The boy knew the bishop had gone to law school and asked him to help him write his last will and testament.
The next time the bishop visited, he brought a yellow legal pad and worked out a will that divided the boy's possessions — his skateboard, his model rockets, and his fishing gear — to his friends. To his brother, Peter, he gave his Ruger .22 rifle.
With the bishop's help, David also arranged his funeral.
He wanted to be buried in his Boy Scout uniform, and he asked the bishop to give the eulogy, an honor the bishop accepted.
The bishop's fondness for the boy was real.
His treatment of the boy as an adult — as an equal — must have drawn out of the teen an inner strength to acknowledge his mortality and to help ease the pain of his death upon his loved ones.
That will and that funeral were for the living.
The time the bishop gave the boy came at a price. Bishop is a fancy title for pastor in the Mormon church — an unpaid position.
The bishop had a wife and four sons, as well as a new job at a prestigious Boston consulting firm. A fifth son would be born later.
Yet he took the time to help a young man say goodbye to his family.