Saturday, January 24, 2015

Eulogy For My Friend Patrick

A buddy of mine, Patrick Sullivan, passed away a couple of weeks ago. But I just found out because Patrick had wound up homeless and I had no way of contacting him outside of the internet. He just stopped posting and sending messages and then I found out he died.

I never met Patrick in real life, but only through internet sites. We communicated first through a philosophy website I used to frequent and later helped run, Ephilosopher. Later we kept in touch via Facebook and instant messaging. It may seem strange to eulogize someone you never met face to face, but this is a person I communicated with almost every day for 10 years. 10 years is a long, long time.

And not a day went by that Patrick didn't make me think deeply, or laugh. He wanted, I think, more than anything else to be recognized as a philosopher. Philosophy at its most foundational is about the love of wisdom, and the willingness to pursue it by all means necessary. And Patrick was a true philosopher. He loved reason, but he recognized it had limits, and he explored the world and his own mind by all means available to him. He and I disagreed vehemently on many important issues, but we respected each other and always found ways to walk together in love and respect, and in truth there was a lot of intellectual common ground, too.

He had a deep respect for the working class, as he was a working man himself. He was a machinist by trade, which can be very difficult work. It was particularly difficult for him, because it is defined by tedium, and his mind was too big for that kind of work. Yet he did it, and took pride in what he did. I respected him for that and I am glad I told him so.

Patrick was a funny dude. He posted some of the funniest stuff I ever read, and when we chatted he often had me rolling in the aisles with the stuff he said. I didn't agree with all aspects of his lifestyle any more than I agreed with all he believed, but didn't matter because we respected each other as men and as mutual cut-ups and deep thinkers. Patrick was older than I am but I never got the sense that he thought of himself as above me in any ways, shape or form. I certainly looked up to him in important ways.

I reiterate something I said earlier: Patrick Sullivan made me laugh or think deeply almost every day for ten years. And now that is gone from my life. I believe that Patrick is in Heaven right now, questioning everything he sees, and making inappropriate jokes right before the throne of God. Whatever Patrick was, all he accomplished within himself and within the lives of those he touched, will live forever in the life of God and is an outpost int he Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever was not what it should be is overcome by the blood of Jesus and the Grace of His Father. But for me, living in this world, life is a little less bright today.

The world lost a good dude and a philosopher, and the supply of both is short in this world. Rest In Peace, more cold nights in a car, or anxiety over food and work for is a rest well deserved. Amen.

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