The Story of Eric’s Memorial Plus A Photo Video Tribute
The Memorial Service on April 29 for my partner of 17 years, Eric Russ, was a beautiful tribute to him. I am so happy with that day from beginning to end. Thank you for being there in thought, in spirit or in person.
I’ll include the link (below) to the 5-1/2 minute video we made about his life. It’s a labor of love to put something like that together, and I thank Chris Walsh and Donna Brickey for their individual and collective genius and complete dedication.
At the memorial, we moved through a rainbow of emotions, thanks to a wonderful cast of story-telling characters. Here are some highlights of April 29.
Music opened the journey. About 34 of the 75 members of Womansong (my Asheville choir) sang “Ocean of Love” from the back of the room which washed through our hearts and minds like a cleansing wave.
Later in the program, “I Will Carry You,” written and performed by Lyte Henrickson, was also accompanied by Womansong. Kat Williams sang “Blue Skies” (yes, the Irving Berlin song) and “Oh Happy Day.” Guitarist Dave de la Rosa gave us “Tears in Heaven.”
The speakers unwrapped the story of Eric’s life and friendships in a way that people who did not know him well left the room feeling as if they did. Fred Hodgins, who has been Eric’s best friend and business partner since 2009, made us cry. Eric’s urologist, Dr. Scott Donaldson, made us laugh uproariously. My daughter, MacKenzie Joy, made us do it all (and do it all at once) ’cause she’s the queen of simultaneous. Diane Tower-Jones was “my voice” for the service. She read a story I wrote about Eric’s journey, which helped everyone understand the last few years of his life. She was so good, it was like having Meryl Streep play me — live and in person. My nephew, Jon, continued his tradition of writing a poem for every family event, and this was no exception. He sent a poem about Eric on video.
Rev. Darlene held the entire event in prayer long before the actual day, and I could feel her presence throughout the service. Her words were just right and her presence calmed, soothed, and held us steady even when emotions were high.
Everything that wanted or needed to happen, did.
Here is the link to the photo video about Eric.
p.s. Sweetheart, I hope we did you proud. I know you were there… I miss you. I wish we could sit on the couch again and talk. I have questions…
Ok, Devaya told me it was wonderful and this video is an example of part of that much larger blessing that was celebrated. My own husband passed 18 years ago and some days it seems like yesterday. And the memories are always there. Much love to you, Terri, you are a beautiful spirit.
Thank you, Jeanne. Maybe you can tell me what the first days and months were like for you after your husband passed.
I’m deeply moved by the beautiful video chronicling Eric’s rich life.
He feels to me like a man who deeply enjoyed his life, a kind man, a loving soul.
I would have really enjoyed knowing him too.
He was blessed to share life with the loving soul that you clearly are, Terri.
Blessings to you,
Thank you for this beautiful message, Leslie. Yes, you would have enjoyed knowing him and he was deeply kind.
It was a profound joy to be there and share the celebration. Yes, I came away feeling that I know Eric. It was lovely. It was just right.
Debby, thank you for this. We’ll talk soon. It feels time for a catch up phone call this week.
I am now 71 years young and have been to enumerable memorials and celebrations for souls who have embarked on the next phase of life. However, Eric’s celebration is the most beautiful, poignant and Divinely inspiring one I had the privilege to experience. This truly expansive, transcendent happening is an enduring tribute to a brilliant, humble and creative soul whose life and love touched all he met. The brilliant life you and Eric shared is alive in all of us. I am confident that you will continue to inspire us all in the coming days with your intuitive writing, music, song and insights. I thank all who attended, spoke and shared their talents so elegantly..
Ariel, thank you so much for your words and thoughts. I appreciate you. I’ll do my best to use my coming days to absorb the depth of what I’m experiencing and begin to express it. I’ve heard it takes a while, and I can tell you so far that even though I have experienced death of a parent, both my brothers, and some close friends, the impact of the death of a spouse is different. Love, Terri
VERY SWEET AND BEAUTIFUL, …I KNOW ERIC WAS DEEPLY TOUCHED AS THE DAY IN HIS HONOR UNFOLDED SO GRACEFULLY… NICE WORK. T… LOVE TO YOU, MACKENZIE AND ERIC’S FAMILY AND FRIENDS… C0REY
Thank you so much, Corey. love, Terri
Beautiful. Nothing less than perfect.
If I could type a row of hearts in reply, I would. Love, Terri
Beautiful Tribute. That’s what LOVE looks like!
Oh, I love what you said. Yes, that’s what Love looks like! Thank you so much. All the best to your beautiful family. love, Terri
It was an honor to be present in this loving embrace. This beautiful memorial helped me to know better who Eric was and why you fell in Love with him dearest Terry. I can imagine 2 sparkling, loving beings sharing the ups and downs of life for almost 2 decades… You are deliciously marked for life because of it. While honoring the pain and grief of not being able to see Eric in this dimension, keep expressing and sharing this spark, this inner and outer beauty that means so much to all of us. Shower yourself with nurturing, loving moments in this time of loss. 🙂
Thank you, MayaJoelle for everything you said. I will take your advice to heart. One of the things I have wanted to do in my life is go on one of your trips to France with you so that I can feel France and see it as you do. love,Terri
What a beautiful, loving photo memorial to your beloved husband Eric!
I am so grateful for the times I was able to share a bit of his journey.
Unfortunately, my commitment to an event out of town kept me from physically attending the 4.29 memorial at Unity of the Blue Ridge.
My heart and love, prayers and comfort are yours.
I can listen if you desire to talk to a warm-hearted soul
who loves herself, you and life, and who allows more than ever
life to be what it is.
Blessings and love,
Thank you, Joy. I appreciate your warm feedback!