In Memorium - Christopher Holbrook

Christopher Holbrook (June 8,1982-Nov. 25, 2018)

How do you eulogize a man with such a giant personality as Chris Holbrook? I feel like it should start “In a world…” and end with car chases and explosions. Or a Sondheim-like song with 8,000 words and a lot of emoting.

I could go on and on about what an amazing person, friend, son, brother, he is, but I would be, sometimes quite literally, preaching to the choir.

I decided instead to focus on how we take the things he taught us, how he inspired us, and how we use those things to keep his spirit and light alive and always with us.

Chris taught me to sing. Not just with my vocal cords, but in everything I do. I sing with my heart, my soul, my love. I sing with my actions, and loudly. I use my voice to sing from the rooftops who I am, what I care about, who I love. Today, and forever, I’ll sing for you, Chris.

Be unapologetically you, no matter how weird you think you are. And you are! And you are beautiful in your weirdness. Never feel like you have to apologize. Chris surrounded himself with a vast array of people, each unique and fabulous in their own way. He loved and accepted every single one. In his honor, I will always do the same.

Chris had a singular ability to find that bright, shiny place in even the most damaged of people. He clung to that place in us, polished it, fed it, until it shined brighter than even we could have ever imagined. He helped us see the best within ourselves. In his spirit, I will look for those places, try to find the best in others and help them see it themselves. My mother has told me, “love them where they’re at,” and I think Chris would love that phrase.

Live a life of inclusivity, and get involved. Go to AIDS Walk, speak out when you hear hate speech. Give your time to causes that mean something to you. We can all do something, no action is too small, to make our world better for all, but especially those whose voices are ignored by those in power.
After he passed, in his honor, I signed up at BeAMatch to be a potential live bone marrow donor. I encourage all of you to donate your time, money if you can, and keep Chris in your heart when you do.

Have fun. Laugh. Yell inappropriate jokes. Chris knew that laughter heals and brings us together. His laugh was infectious, and even on our worst days, none of us was immune to its effect. So many of us have some stooooories, don’t we? Most are not appropriate for here, but find each other, share your stories, and laugh. I will laugh and try to inspire laughter in his honor.

Chris was always there, no matter what. He held my hand through tough times and loss, and that’s why this is so hard without him. But his being there for me prepared me to be here for you. And for him, I promise to be. I am here for every single one of you.

All of this and so much more. But the point is: remember Chris, love him, keep him alive in your heart, and in your actions.

I’m sorry to end this in such a tacky way as a poem, but, well, that’s me, and didn’t we just talk about accepting people for who they are?

[I carry your heart with me (i carry it in]
by e.e. cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear
no fate (for you are my fate,my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Photo courtesy of Jose Cuervo

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