In honor of Ralph Rivera (September 13, 1948-October 29, 2019)
(Note: The word eulogy is derived from the Greek eulogia (eu [good or well] + logia [saying or speaking]), thus, literally meaning “to say good words” about someone.)
Yesterday, we gathered.
to commemorate his passing;
too swift, as we’d measured time, having come.
Death, that inexorable ending of all living,
his presence eclipsing
his bright, brilliantly charismatic light.
to celebrate his life;
one that in days’ length,
e’en more, in ways surpassing breadth
had touched many
Along with words of tribute,
there were melodies – songs, his songs.
For an observer and interpreter,
a writer and singer,
a composer who gave contemporary
(iconic, neo-classic) voice to the mystery
of life and love
And, thus, at the end,
we (each and all of us) were heard
saying in so many (more declarative, less interrogative) words:
“Is it not the moment grandest,
the testament noblest to a life supremely well-lived
when ev’ry word of ev’ry eulogy rings…is true?”