I lost my brother yesterday, here is what I had to say
Eulogy for Chris Bell
Dear family and friends…. we are gathered here today to honor the memory of our fallen brother. We few…we unhappy few…unhappy because he passed away…but happy to be here together to cherish his memory…we band of brothers, and sisters. We will remember this day and our brother long after he is gone and passed.
Chris Bell was a crackerjack car salesman and a closer. And for anyone in the business you know what that means. For him, there was no rock bottom to the life. He was way out there on a shoeshine and a smile and a devilish mustache.
His signature greeting was, “Hey, do you want to make a deal?” Then he would hit you with a killer smile and a laugh to light the heavens like he was Burt Reynolds or somebody.
He was serving his country in the US Army when he volunteered to participate in the Vietnam War. Wartime service is a tradition in our family and we are very proud of that fact. We are a family of warriors. And we all fight the good fight in our own special ways. Chris fought in Vietnam. And there he was exposed to the chemical defoliant Agent Orange which ravaged his body and his mind and robbed my brother of his fortitude and his vitality.
But Chris persevered and continued to live his life as best as he could, the mere shadow of his former self. For he was a man of considerable charm, character, and charisma before he grew ill.
But then again, we are all mere shadows, poor players, who strut and fret our hour upon the stage and then are heard again no more.
We loved our bother and we are sad to see him go…but we know that he will continue on in our hearts and in our memories. And he will continue on in the universe like the leaf that falls to the earth without any idea of its dying and is born again by decomposing at the foot of the tree and nourishing the tree. Everything dies and that’s a fact, but everything that dies someday comes back. Nothing really goes away, and so too, will Chris live on.
The last voyage is the longest and the best. Look homeward, Angel, and may you rest.
Concluding poem (Based on Thich Nhat Hahn’s I Have Arrived)
I have arrived. I am home.
Dear ancestors, dear father, dear mother, dear sisters and brother, dear friends, I have arrived. I am home. I can touch the paradise of my childhood and all the wonders of life. I am no longer concerned with being or non being, coming and going, being born or dying. In my true home I have no fear, no anxiety. I have peace and liberation. My true home is here and now. I have found true happiness.