Average Jane



He moved mountains

Friday my cousin Rick died. Cancer. Again. I can’t be at his funeral. I am here at work. At 2pm I will probably go outside for a few minutes. For Rick. For myself. For his daughter whose wedding is in October and his son whose baby is not yet born. For his wife who lived for him, and lives for him.

I can’t be at his funeral, so I wrote him a eulogy, because writing is what I do. If it were truly in the spirit of his family, it would rhyme and be set to music… more than likely a show tune, or possibly an oldie but goody. Alas, I settle for humble prose.

Maybe you know someone like my cousin Rick. Maybe you’ll understand.

A eulogy:

Cousin Rick was magic. He didn’t perform magic, he emanated it out of every pore.
When I was a child, he did tricks.

When I was an adult, he performed miracles.

The last time I saw him was at my grandmother’s funeral where he recounted with eloquence what she had meant to him as an auntie-in-law. A new perspective on a woman I loved and thought I knew better than anyone.

But new perspectives are what Cousin Rick was all about. At shiva for my grandmother, he sat me down for a talk that I wasn’t ready to have. It was a talk about following my dreams. It was a talk about changing my life. It was a talk about finally being true to who I was.

He told me, “If you want to be a writer, then write!” Such simple words that just hadn’t occurred to me. It was as though a fire had been lit in my stomach. I cried, of course, and thanked him.

The magic didn’t happen immediately. The instant gratification demanded by a young child replaced by the patience of an adult. But it happened.

Cousin Rick was magic, changing the people around him by his mere presence. His spirit moved mountains… at least it moved me, a mountain of sorts, unwavering in my convictions. Obstinate. Until, that is, a force of nature takes hold; a spirit so powerful that mountains, like me, like my grandmother, could do nothing but conform to his mighty will.

Spirits like Cousin Rick’s don’t die. They swirl through the living every day. His work was not done. There are more mountains to move.

Mountains like mine, moved by magic.

Goodbye, Rick.

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Comments

  1. * carrie m says:

    I’m so sorry. And you know how you wrote about words, and how sometimes they don’t mean anything? one of the things I like best about this world is when groupings of words…like your eulogy…mean so much. Much more than just the letters they’re made up of. And you captured that.

    | Reply Posted 10 years ago
  2. * WiB says:

    It’s kind of amazing the things you learn about someone after their passing. I read things about my great-great uncle, who passed away a couple weeks ago, that I had never heard in 30+ years. Remarkable.

    Sorry about your cousin. The eulogy is beautiful; I would hardly refer to prose like that as ‘humble.’

    | Reply Posted 10 years ago
  3. * Mandy says:

    this is just breathtaking. thank you for sharing it.

    I’m thinking about you! Big hug..

    | Reply Posted 10 years ago
  4. I’m so sorry to read this, and sorry for your loss. I’m sure he knew you felt this way.

    | Reply Posted 10 years ago


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