My Brother’s Eulogy

A few weeks ago my older brother, Josely Elie, died. He was in a hospital where members of my family visited him as he faded away. I was told that doctors gave him three months, which would’ve given me time to visit as well. That didn’t happen and I was in Korea while he passed away with my parents watching over him. I wasn’t able to go to the wake. I wasn’t able to go to the cremation ceremony. I was, however, able to write a eulogy that would be read in my place. This is a modified version of that eulogy. It’s written here to be more diary-like with, selfishly, more Alex-centered details then the one I wanted read.

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A few years ago, about ten, Josely and I were wasting an hour playing video games. This happened more often then I liked, but I had a lot of free time. At twenty one I had quit college and I quit my job. While pursuing a doomed dream I decided to read some books, write a little, and think a lot about the world I lived in. In those months me and my brother had been spending a lot of time together and I was constantly asking him questions about his life.

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Catching Butterflies

There is a story behind my writing this short story, but I won’t share it unless you ask me in person. What I will say is that this was the first short story in my life that I wrote with ease. It broke some mental barrier that I had put up and I was able to write without feeling an awkward and anxious agony, like I was trying to paint with my feet. This story did it. I thank it, and I thank you for reading it.
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I knew it was the wrong decision when I saw the butterfly.

It was dirt brown and amber, and fluttered an inch away from my face. If I had grabbed the thing I imagine it would have fit neatly in my palm. Instead I simply let it fly past, passively observing it as it flew from my left to my right, then into the bushes where it disappeared.

With it gone I had to focus again on my dad and his friends as they played basketball at our local park. No, that’s not true at all. I wasn’t really focused on their game, but my anxiety about being next up to play. I didn’t play sports – I still don’t – but my father brought me along. In his words, “I just think you need to move your body a little more.” There was no meanness in his words, but they hurt nonetheless. I was standing on the sidelines of our local park’s basketball court out of guilt for being a quiet boy who watched life from his bedroom window and drew pictures of trees and hummingbirds. I was standing there because I told my dad I would play, but when I saw that butterfly I knew I made the wrong decision.

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My Eulogy

Wrote this during a writing workshop prompt earlier this week. Thought is was pretty good, that it was pretty sad, and unfortunately, that it’s probably pretty true.
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What can I say about Alex Clermont that everybody here doesn’t already know. He was 5 feet 7 inches. He was brown. He loved comic books, shrimp, and any joke that could convincingly fit the word penetration into it.

Alex was also a sucker for love. He loved the idea of love, and shared himself mind, body and soul with several of us crying here today. Love with Alex, however was never permanent, with every relationship of his having in it a fatal flaw. He never found what he was looking for either in love, or in life in general, but I think he was okay with that.

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