January 31, 2007
a decoration from the cake, which was in the shape of a big pink hat. Guy liked to wear hats.
click below for eulogies by this young man's parents
Guy's father's words:
Early in my courtship of Guy’s mother, Elizabeth, while we were in journalism school in Missouri, even before our first date, I asked her what she wanted to do when she was finished with school. Her simple reply was “I want to be a mommy.” No pretense of wanting to be the managing editor for the New York Times or a correspondent in Beirut, just the plain truth.
And so it began as a negotiation of the terms of marriage, a prenuptial agreement, if you will, to have one child. At the time I guess I thought that I was the one compromising and giving in. Now I know that it was by far the best deal of my life. For as profoundly painful as Guy’s death is, it would have been far worse to have not shared Guy’s presence for these past 16 years, and for this I am eternally grateful to Liz.
I have experienced a love I would never have reached without Guy. It is a love that will stay with me always and make me feel more fully. Guy’s spirit flows through me. I feel him when I walk through the fields, when I touch my wife sweetly on her cheek, and especially when I remember the life of this beautiful manchild.
Guy lived life with a gentle intensity. He once declared he was the happiest boy at his school . Guy’s energy and love were not diminished by sharing. Now that he is dead his energy is free to reside in those he loved and who loved him. All of us are better because of his presence.
There is no greater love than a parent’s for his child. It is a gift to the parent more that the child. I love my wife dearly, but she it not of my flesh. She and I love each other in a complimentary way; we strengthen each others weaknesses. We are stronger as a couple than as individuals. But Guy expanded our capacity to love and experience. He has given us a fuller, richer foundation with which to continue our lives. He has made us so much better, and man should be judged by how much he has changed people for the better. Guy is in me and I will be more alive because of his presence. Each of you who he touched will live fuller more active lives.
In a way Liz and I feel very selfish having had Guy to ourselves for most of his life. In the past few years, Guy brought more people within his sphere, especially his beloved Katie. We saw that Guy was not ours to keep but to share.
His energy has rejoined the earth from whence it came, and we will all be more alive because of it. He brought so much energy and love and spread it so generously that instead of the son learning from the father, I have been lifted with Guy’s being and will always live with him in me. Guy will walk with me; he will build with me; he will be with me to the end of my days.
Guy’s life is a treasure that resides deeply in me.
Guy Robichaud is dead – Long live Guy.
Guy's mother's words:
WHAT I LEARNED FROM GUY
Guy was supposed to be a girl. Throughout my pregnancy, I planned tea parties and cookie baking and Jane Austen. But the nanosecond I laid eyes on him, I felt a shock of recognition and said, Of course: you’re the one I’ve been waiting for.
Guy’s infancy was not like the T.V. commercials for baby formula. I did not wear an exquisite peignoir in a sunlit nursery and lean serenely over a cooing baby. He had colic. He screamed and cried a lot. A lot. At the time, I mentioned this to an old guy I knew at work. He got a haunted, distant look in his eyes. “My son had colic,” he said. “It was worse than the foxholes of Korea.”
But now, looking back, I can see that it was good. For one thing, it helped us bond with him, fast and hard. There’s nothing like a baby’s crying to turn parents into instant experts on that baby as they study him minutely for clues about what’s wrong.
For another thing, the colic made his few peaceful moments dazzling and unforgettable. Like the time I was nursing Guy and enjoying the one reliable cease-fire the afternoon’s routine provided. He was about six weeks old. All of a sudden my reverie was interrupted when he unlatched from the breast too soon, when normally I would have expected at least five more minutes of peace. Oh god, what now, I thought. But instead of crying, he very intentionally turned his little baseball of a head to look straight into my eyes and transfixed me with a radiant smile that I will remember as long as I live.
And looking back, I can see that the colic was a lucky thing in another way. It taught us the hard lesson of being powerless to help the person you love most in the world but all the same knowing that you’re going to try like hell anyway. Which, as it turned out, was the ideal preparation for his cancer.
I learned so many other things from Guy during the 16 years I was lucky enough to be in his orbit. I learned that the universe is a friendly place, and that life is a glorious adventure. I learned that there is no fear, as he once wrote, if you accept the outcome as beautiful. I learned the importance of wearing a giant velvet sombrero to the opera. Most important, I learned that all of us – all of us – are innately precious, without having to do even one single thing to earn a place in this world. We’re precious just because we’re an accidental handful of cells.
I will miss my beautiful, sweet, gangly boy every day of my life. I will miss his expressive eyebrows and his radiant smile. I will miss his call-of-the-red-shafted-flicker laugh. I will miss his dear voice and the smell of his non-compulsively-washed hair. I will miss his ability to find the perfect Simpsons quotation for every occasion, his goofy drawings, and his willingness to laugh at my jokes. I will miss learning from him about how to live with joy, curiosity, spontaneity, honor, kindness, and endless generosity.
Thank you for being here today to help me miss him.
Posted by phoebeg at January 31, 2007 01:16 PM