A Song of Eulogy and Other Cheerful News
My gift is my song and this one's for you...
A couple weeks ago I said “see you in a bit” to one of my best friends from my childhood/teen years.
I had written more - too much more - about hiking the hills of Chatsworth and Tim’s ability to identify virtual every animal or plant I would send him pictures of during my hike.
Suffice to say, Tim was a gentle spirit - and tortured. Years of alcoholism ended with me seeing him in the hospital a couple hours before he passed away. I apologized to him for some harsh words I’d said in frustration a few weeks earlier.
I left the hospital and drove out to Koreatown where my son, Christopher, addicted to fentanyl, was living. I found Christopher, told him I loved him and that I was worried about him. As I dropped him off, Tim’s brother, Mike texted me to let me know that Tim had passed away.
That was an odd day. Odd being a euphemism for F$%*ed!
I’ll provide a brief update on Christopher below.
Addiction is incomprehensible to the non-addict. I suppose it’s incomprehensible to the addict as well.
I missed Tim’s service at St. John Eudes, I was caught up in my own world - Christopher had been admitted to the hospital a few days earlier and had a stroke. Things were… well… F$%*ed!
It’s not an excuse but it is the only explanation I can offer.
Tim’s brothers and sisters had planned a memorial at sea. It is fitting given Tim’s love for the sea and particular Carpenteria.
That morning, I woke up early. I was noodling on my guitar and a chord progression struck me as thoughtful - maybe a little melancholy. The words soon followed and by the time Deb woke up, I had a verse and a chorus.
I showed them to her and she “gently” told me that I needed to finish the song before I left for Santa Barbara later that morning.
A couple of hours later I sent the completed song to Mike and during everyone’s public comments about Tim, I had the opportunity to read the lyrics. I didn’t play the song.. I would not have made it through.
During my pitchy and less than optimal recording of the song, I struggled to finish a single line. I would record a line, break-down in tears, get myself under control, and record the next line.
It left me with this rough recording. I’ll revisit it in the near future but I believe it can serve its purpose. The lyrics can be found below and are in the video and video description. Enjoy!
Update on Christopher:
Christopher had heart surgery two days ago. I visited him yesterday in ICU and will go see him later today. He has an amazing team around him. There is much for him to do. We’ll write more later.
Eulogy for a Friend
Took a walk on the shore
Cast a prayer on the tide
To where it ebbs and it flows
To where the memories reside
Will it make its way home
Through our loss and our pain
Find the you that we’ve known
Find the you that remains
We’re gathered here
Let us laugh, let us cry
Friends and family draw near
But don’t expect a goodbye
I’ll see you riding the stars
And feel you round the next bend
Wherever wonder meets life
I’ll see you my gentle friend
Sometimes I close my eyes
Let yesterday take me in
When every care in our world
Was just a childhood whim
Are you feeling that now?
Every burden released
Every demon cast out
Every worry at peace