Ralph Rivera, 9-13-48-10-29-19In 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
was he.

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?”

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