I wanted to start with a reading that I found that spoke to me as something eddie might say if he were here. Bear with me as it’s a bit long but as you learned today, Eddie wanted to be a Rabbi at one point so it’s appropriate that someone read a little scripture on his behalf!
When the moment will come to close my eyes on this beautiful planet, my heart will thank and honor all those who gave me life and the warmth of love, and Him who permitted me to devote my earthly sojourn to peace, justice, and the betterment of the human condition in one of the noblest organizations ever born from the heart of man. I will go in peace and joy, thankful for having been blessed with the miracle of life.
I will have loved my life with passion, embraced it with fervor, cherished every single moment of it. I will have contemplated with wonder the sky and its running clouds, my brethren the humans, my sisters the flowers and the stars. I will have feasted unceasingly on the treasure of life in all its forms. I will not have dwelled in mediocre ambitions, vain hatred and useless complaints.
My conclusion would therefore be:
Decide to be happy
Render others happy
Proclaim your joy
Love passionately your miraculous life
Be grateful for every moment of life
Pray and thank God every day
Look with fascinaton at everything
Fill your lungs and heart with liberty
Be yourself fully and immensely
Act like a king unto Death
Feel God in your body, mind, heart and soul
And be convinced of eternal life.
To our friends, family, Eddie's coworkers and recently his caregivers… words simply cannot do justice to how much Dylan, Matthew and I appreciate all the love and support we have received off and on for the past 7 1/2 years and particularly in the last few months and weeks. People laugh off LA and Hollywood and the Unreality of it all. But they don't know Eddie's hollywood and they certainly don't know our LA. Its full of gracious and beautiful and caring and loving people. Nobody knows that more than Dylan, Matthew and me and Eddie knew as well. Very well. Its one of the reasons he knew that the 3 of us would be ok when he was gone. Because we have all of you.
The notes I have received over the past week have been overwhelming in terms of the beauty of the words and tributes to Eddie. I knew he was special. I knew others knew. But the depth to which people have written is truly special. For those of you that have written, please know I plan to make a book for the kids. They will cherish your words forever.
A lot of you have commented on how strong I have been through the past few months. They say that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. What a mighty strong chain all of my friends (and that includes many of Eddie’s friends) helped me make for Eddie. While I would be absolutely nowhere without all of my special friends who held me up throughout all of this, what I now realize is that I also got so much of my strength from Eddie. His eyes, smile and soul fueled me and comforted me and gave me the energy to do and go and be. I now feel lost like a ship without a sail.
But it wasn't just me that showed up for Eddie in the end. Eddie was a blessed person with so many loving and wonderful people around him throughout the journey and until the very end. Just look at this room.
There were those that let him continue to work. You gave him dignity. How he loved to do his work. There are so many that are stuck to their blackberries, iPhones because they stress about missing that next message?. But for Eddie it was pure joy to get that next email setting him on a path to get the story, strategize a PR plan or get a new piece of business. Those of you who let him continue to do what he did best until the very last days gave him dignity and pure joy. What a blessing.
There were those that were his friends. How he loved all of you. There were friends borne from when he taught religious school and friends that started out as work associates that became some of his closest friends. There were those he grew up with and knew for a long long time and then, most recently the most wonderful men that became devoted friends whom we met through our kids. And lets not forget his lady friends – some of the most special to him to say the least. Eddie was blessed with his friends and he adored them all. Many of you took the time to have lunch with him over the last few months. Every day he would email me asking "who is my lunch with today?" You gave him fun and entertainment and a feeling of normalcy during his day. This too was a blessing.
There were those that were his family. He was so happy to have his brother and sister around him and was so happy with the time they spent most recently. He always asked me to call his dad when I was unable to take him somewhere once he couldn't drive. He told me it was nice time with him and he loved it and felt so comfortable with him. There were my brothers who totally embraced him and welcomed him to the family with open arms as you heard. There were my parents…. he simply adored them beyond all expectations and certainly had no feeling that they were quote inlaws. Whenever they were leaving us, Eddie would moan "who else matters more than us? why does she have to go too? when are they coming back? He simply did not understand the language my mom spoke when she would reply "kids, I know you don't understand this but we have a life." And believe me, that was only after they had given us so much of their time. Eddie just never had enough of them. He honestly hoped that they would just move in with us forever. Family meant everything to Eddie and the time you all gave to Eddie was a pure blessing to him.
Finally, there were his kids. Dylan and Matthew…. how he loved you two and was so proud of you two. Dylan, he called you Sweet Pea McGee from the day you were born and Matthew you were his little buddy. He had a glow in his eye when he looked at both of you from the minute you were born, when you played your sports, when you performed at school and when you were just lying around the house with him. Nothing was more important to him. He just simply wanted you to always know his love. I think you do. One of you recently said "I only got to have him as my dad for a short time". Listen carefully and remember always - It is not that you only had him as your dad for a short time… it is that you were so lucky that you got to have him as your dad, even if only for these years. There are a lot of good men. There are not as many great men. Your dad was a great man. Just look around the room, read the stories online and the emails I have received. I will forever remind you of all that he was and make sure you know from whom you came. You deserve that.
I loved Eddie with all my heart and soul. As I told him on our 10th anniversary, he brought peace to me during the chaos of life and faith in what seemed like hopelessness. In the face of my fears, he brought me courage and in the face of life's sadness he brought me comfort.
Eddie loved living. He didn't care about living large with big things or events. He loved to live - pure and simple. With all of us in this room.
At the end he wasn't the man I married who could travel the world with me as we had hoped or the dad who could run around playing basketball with his kids as he loved to do. But until the very end he WAS the caring, stoic, brave sweet man I married, always showing me unconditional love and support and compassion, the father that loved his children more than anything in this world and the man who loved his job, his clients and his friends. May we all remember him for the essential man that he was -always kind and gentle, a wonderful spirit with the smile and twinkling eyes that could light up the world. I know I will.