Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Life - An Eyewitness Account

Permanence is an illusion.

That illusion is a tether that we hold tightly in the knowledge that this precious, fragile gift of life is anything but permanent. When life is over, the only thing of significance, of any permanence, that we leave behind is what we have done for others.

Our friend, our brother, Barry, was that rarity of rarities:  a human being who shared himself fearlessly. To us, he leaves his smile, his laugh, his advice, his experience, his endless stories, his remarkable, timeless sense of chivalry, his love of beauty, his adoration of song.  Barry offered himself without qualification or judgment and left the world better for it. While others lagged in fear or mistrust, he stepped forward, hand extended, smile beaming, to exuberantly welcome that which lies ahead. He knew the secret: we are all family, after all.

As our world becomes ever smaller, the reticence to share of self becomes greater; vulnerability has become an aberration.  The example of what it means "to be human" that Barry epitomized becomes rarer still.  Barry was a "Mensch", a human being in the truest sense of the word.  And we will miss him terribly.  Our world will feel his loss.

In October, Barry quoted Kathie Lee Gifford in her time of mourning:  "Don't dwell on your loss...be grateful for what you had."  Barry added, "I know it is easier said than done, but we should always learn from and appreciate the past, live in the present, and embrace the future."   

Barry, we who love you commend your spirit into the waiting arms of your Creator who sees all, who knows all, who forgives all, who loves all. You are very much His child. He will know you and welcome you to that perfect place of love and peace and seraphic song; 

Permanence, at last.

One day, we will join you there and we will all be together again.

Peace be with you all.

"Evensong",Sint Niklaas Basilica, Amsterdam, December 2014

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