Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Requiescat In Pace, Emmanuel

I write this after I've learned that my friend, Emmanuel, has died. It is likely that few of my friends here know him, but I am recording my speech here nonetheless, lest my memory of him ever be forgotten. Those who read my blog will know of him as someone whose company I enjoyed greatly during outings to see the Street Preachers on the Ave.

Caidil e caidil e 's dhiot gach bron, Emmanuel.

Sleep, oh sleep without sorrow, Emmanuel.

- - -

It's not often that I have the need to write biographical speeches…and less so about someone that I cared about, found smiling in the Saturday Mill Ave lights, and now won't see there again.

So say "I barely knew you" rings hollow for anyone who likely knew him a lot longer, and a lot better than I. But here is my experience. 

As a person, Emmanuel was a welcome sight. Quick witted, truthful to his core, cheerful and thoughtful about his speech, his composure added something dramatic and driven to our little gatherings. Easy laughter and jocularity became the hallmark of his conversation and he used them often to soften the edge of his keen, curious intellect.

But the one thing that he left with the most of us – and what anyone who has spent time will them will carry away – is the warmth of his compassion and the comfort his company brought. 

Writing a speech like this is all about saying what perhaps doesn't need to be said, because everyone is already thinking it. I ask for everyone's indulgence by closing with what doesn't need to be said, because everyone listening already has it written on their hearts:

"Emmanuel, you will be missed." 

Kyt Dotson

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