I never thought I’d need to write an eulogy so soon.
Shel Silverstein once wrote:
“There are no happy endings.
Endings are the saddest part,
So just give me a happy middle
And a very happy start.”
The departing of a soul is no easy thing for us to be able to witness. Endings can be synonyms for sadness because of the finality they imply. So, when Lizanne and I sat down to put this together, we wanted to focus on everything that comes before goodbye – the happy middle and start.
With that being said, I’d like to thank everyone for coming. You’ve all been a part of Dylan’s happy middle and start. It is a testament to Dylan’s character that each one of you is here – his light reached across counties, countries, and continents to everyone who knew him. Our family isn’t small by any means, but here we are all together celebrating the life of the soul we’ve come to know as Dylan. If you had the good fortune to have the prefix “auntie” or “uncle” attached to your first name, chances are that you’ve been grilled by Dylan at some point.
I think it’s fair to say that when we think of Dylan, the first thing we think of is his smile – which was mischievous and soon mirrored in the face of whoever he was with. This smile, when coupled with his sense of humor, made him the life of any party. I remember when we were young, he would be out late playing with all of the neighbourhood kids. In fact, almost everyone on our street knew who he was – so much so, that my own name was reduced to nothing but “Dylan’s sister”.
And Dylan’s sister I am. I am his opposite in every way imaginable. Where I was book smart, he was street smart. Where I was creative, he was athletic. Where I was short, he was tall. Where I was introverted, he was extroverted. Where I was smart, he was funny.
His sense of humor and smile were not the only things that made him a good soul to have around. I always think of the moments when I would come to him upset about something and he could comfort me – wordlessly. He had a way of letting you know he was there for you, even if he didn’t say it. No matter what you were going through, he always had a joke ready to tease you with.
I remember how I would hold him and tell him I loved him and would not let go of him until after he said it back to me. On the rare occasions that he would say it first, I knew he was saying it to make me happy. My relationship with Dylan is interesting because of how interwoven our families have been since even before any of us were born. I am, and always will be his little sister. He was more than my best friend, he was my big brother – one that I would love to annoy. He was also the only one I could count on to make fun of Nicole with. To get back at him, Nicole and I would call him “goatboi”, because of his love for goat curry and how much he imitated people with an Indian accent.
The relationship between the three of us is that of three siblings who knew they could always rely on each other for a shoulder to cry on, a bone-crushing hug, or a side-splitting laugh. He was not only another brother to me and Nathan, but he was also another son to my parents. It is with a heavy heart that my family says goodbye to their second son, but we know that he is always watching over us in Canada.
Dylan’s love for Canada is no secret. Not only did he permanently brand himself with his maple leaf tattoo, but whenever we would visit him, he would always ask us to bring him something which would help him display his patriotism. This happened so often that we actually managed to get him the exact same hoodie, in the same colour, twice. Accidentally, of course.
Besides Dylan’s patriotism, there was also his athleticism. Dylan could play any sport you can name. His wardrobe consisted mainly of basketball shorts and t-shirts, socks and slide sandals. He looked like the off-season basketball player we all knew he really was. Because of all his various sporting habits, he took enough showers and used enough lotion for all of us.
He was charming in terms of personality and physicality. One of the things he was most complimented on was the colour of his eyes – they were a warm hazel brown and they glowed like liquid amber in the sunlight and when he laughed. These things we will never forget, and although we can no longer see or touch him, we feel him in our hearts.
So whether you choose to remember Dylan with pictures, things he said to you, jokes you shared, or even just warm thoughts that make you grin and look like the kind of idiot he would often make fun of, we ask that you remember Dylan with his mischievous smile.
Let me summarize Dylan’s legacy with a story. A few months ago, Dylan had surgery on his knee for a torn ACL. Because of his surgery, he was on crutches and couldn’t walk for a while. My mom told me about a conversation she had with him when he finally started walking on his own, about how now that he had been cleared to walk by his doctor, he wanted to start running. He had just started to walk, and he already wanted to run. All I could think about, when my mom told me this, was about how he doesn’t have to worry about running now, because he can fly.
*Note: Italicized text was read by Lizanne, while regular text was read by me. We both wrote this together to honour our brother, Dylan.*