Shortly after my marriage ended one of my best friends completed suicide. Below is the eulogy that I wrote and read at his funeral.
I’ll never forget the first time I met Connor. I was at the anchor bar with some other pledges when this guy walked up to me and said “hey shirley what are yup drinking?” who are you calling Shirley kid, he looked at me and said I’m not a kid, I’m a doctor and my name is Connor. He handed me a card and said call me sometime. I said no, I’m a lady you have to call me first. He reached Into his pocket pulled out a pen and said here write your number on my hand. Two days later he called.
I can honestly say I’ve never laughed so much on a first date, this fancy manhattan transplant sat before me, he looked so out of place, yet looked so comfortable in my presence. He use to say AmandaJean you light up my world, we need more girls like you in New York. We would sit and talk for hours on end, he would just nod his head and smile As I explained my sorority girl drama.
My fondest memories of Connor involve sitting on the beach with a fire a blaze watching the waves roll in and just talking about life. One day I said Connor do you know what we need, he looked at me, with a goofy grin and a twinkle in his eye said skinny dipping. No you fool well freeze to death. Then what. Marshmallows, we need marshmallows. Looking confused he said what, oh come on Connor, are yup telling men you’ve never roasted one? No he said. So I gave him a crash course in roasting, it took him a while to get them jut the right color of gold, I think he cremated a whole bag. But oh well. That became our thing fireside chats with marshmallows in hand. We would sit there in a blissful sugar high, nothing else mattered but us, the fire, and the waves that rolled in like angry emotions hitting the sky.
I would give anything to be sitting on a beach with you right now. Part of me thinks this is all dream and that you are going to jump out from a dark corner. Sadly I know you are not. I’ll never understand why you left or what was going through your mind. When I got the news I cried, I screamed, yelled and fell to my knees. I was so angry at god for taking you away from us. You had so much to do and to show us. You weren’t just a doctor, you were a healer, a healer of broken bones, souls and hearts. You would listen with caring heartfelt eyes and always gave advise that was wise beyond your years. That is what I loved about you, if I was having a crapy day all I needed was to hear your voiced and my troubles would melt away. You were my voice of reason, you were my protector, and mostly you were a brother to me.
We were lovers and friends, I was there in your darkest hour. I didn’t back down, I didn’t run or bolt, I stood there waiting for you to come around. I was so scared that night, the night our relationship changed forever. The images of that night will be engraved in my mind for eternity, but that is not the Connor I will remember. It is only a piece of the Connor that I loved and adored.
I will always remember out last conversation. You were glad that I found the strength to walk away from my marriage. Again I sat there telling you of the drama going on and like you gave me wise advice and said your famous saying, there is always a lesson to be learned in this. Little did I know this was the last time I’d hear your voice, yup sweet laugh and god I would god anything to go back and ask you how you were. To make sure that you were all right. Part of me knows you would of lied and said everything is find, but really you were dying inside. How could you be in such a dark place where the sun didn’t shine, how could you feel so alone. Connor you were loved more than you will ever know. I loved you and I always will.
I have to think that you are trying to teach us a lesson, trying to show us something. Maybe it’s that drama and second hand conversations are not worth our time. To hug our children a little longer and to remember to be kind to strangers, for they may be fighting a harder battle than yup. I will treasure our friendship, the memories we made will last me a life time and mostly I will never be able to look at a marshmallow and not think of you.
Thou you are gone, you will live on through us, as we share your life with those you we meet, as long as you are in our hearts you will live forever.
I just have one burning question for you? Why did you leave the stage in the middle of your song, it’s not like you to leave things unfinished. But mostly who told you life wasn’t worth the fight! Because baby they lied, the lied my friend, they lied.