RaymondTaavel Eulogy

Who Raymond was to me

by DarrenLewis?

Raymond and I met 10 years ago this month. Our friendship had an intense and rocky start, but Raymond had decided that he was going to be a big part of my life whether I liked it or not. He got me out everywhere, in places I had never been, with people I would never have met. He lived his life full speed ahead, and if I was going to be with him I had better have my seat belt on.

I fell in love with his mischievous ways, and his big bright smile. When he hit you with that, you couldn't stay mad at him. He used that weapon on me a lot, when he had done some stupid thing or another. But I always forgave him and walked him through whatever the mess was.

Raymond and I shared our lives on a daily basis for nine years, living together as domestic partners, for lack of better words. And I don't know if any of you out there who knew him well—or worked with him closely—can imagine just how intense that was for the both of us. You all received him in small doses, but for me it was all Raymond all the time.

We shared everything about each other's Halifax lives—the good, the bad and yes the ugly—but we were always able to come back to the good, no matter what.

I learned over the years that Raymond was much more than what he showed to the wider world, more than what most of you probably saw. He was a very emotional, deeply spiritual, and somewhat introverted, insecure person, who needed to push himself and push hard to be the man you all saw him to be in public. But once he was out there, he fed on the energy in a room and there was no turning back.

At home with me, however, he was like a little boy, who just needed someone to take care of him. I wanted to take care of him. I did take care of him. I loved him so much, we became each other's Halifax family. I nursed him when he was sick, gave him a shoulder to cry on, and also delivered a boot to the arse when that was what was needed.

He shared with me his feelings on life and love often. His frustrations in his personal life made him stop and evaluate things on many occasions, and he would always share with me what he thought he had learned. He kept a sheet of sayings that he thought were truths he had arrived at. They were fixed to the fridge door. I want to share them with you because they are the essence of the man I know and love.

The series is called “I’ve learned”

I've learned that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.
I've learned that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.
I've learned that you can keep going long after you can't.
I've learned that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.
I've learned that either you control your attitude or it controls you.
I've learned that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.
I've learned that heroes are the people who do what needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.
I've learned that money is a lousy way of keeping score.
I've learned that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.
I've learned that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you’re down will be the ones to help you back up.
I've learned that sometimes when I am angry, I have the right to be angry, but it doesn't give me the right to be cruel.
I've learned that true friendship continues to grow, even over long distances. Same goes for true love.
I've learned that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to, it doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.

And now, to my Raymond, these are some of the things I have learned because of you:

I've learned that people you love can be taken in an instant, but love cannot.
I've learned that even though you will never walk in again and say, "Honey I'm Home," you'll always have a home with me.
I've learned that missing you is the most painful thing I have ever felt.
I've learned that when you love someone, you need to tell them as often as you can.
I’ve learned that when you wanted to hug me all the time, I should have been more inviting.
I've learned that you helped make me the man I am today.
I've learned that just because I couldn't love you the way you wanted me to, it doesn't mean I didn't love you with all that I had.

Goodbye my Raymond.
Go be with God
And save me a seat.