Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?
That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.
Your verse, sir, was truly extraordinary. My apologies for the delay in expressing myself, I experienced quite the struggle in finding my voice. After all, how do you say goodbye to someone you’ve never met? The fact that the “someone” in this case happens to be this larger than life person who has been present for every stage of my life, as well as the lives of every person I know, it seemed to be even more difficult.
In one fashion or another, you touched lives with your stories, your voices, your humor, and your heart. You showed a level of respect and honor to the armed forces that many people don’t even understand. You were there for all of us for decades in whatever capacity you could, constantly giving of yourself. When the Twin Towers fell I remember seeing your smile on a chair donating blood. Every holiday season you were on TV trying to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. You worked with dolphins to help educate people on the ocean and the wonderful animals you played with. Even gamers had the opportunity to relate to you when you opened up and told the world about your Ninetendo habit!
There was so much you gave. So many lives you helped shape. I truly wish I would have had a chance to meet you. To shake your hand. To hug you. You deserved that much, if not so very much more. You were only one man… physically. But your presence, your reach, your influence and inspiration made you seemingly extend so far and wide that you seemed to be so much more.
Many people have said that they wish you had found the peace you so desperately needed. That you could have brightened your own world the way you brightened the worlds of so many others. Or at the very least, that you would have reached out for help when you needed it so that someone would have had the chance to help you. As of now, though, your verse has ended here. The indelible mark you’ve made will undoubtedly mold future generations for the better. With your contribution, I have to imagine that the afterlife probably sounds pretty damn awesome.