Sunday, May 10, 2009
In Memory of My Friend, Dylan
Yesterday, May 9, 2009, my friend, Dylan, was laid to rest. He passed away on Wednesday and it's been a very emotional week for me. I worked with Dylan and his dad, Travis for 2 years or so at RJ Lewis, Inc. We're all finish carpenters, and Dylan was quickly learning the trade and becoming quite good at it. He was only 17 1/2 years old, but he was a good worker and was really taking pride in his job and in the things he built. His dad asked us if we could build a casket for Dylan. My boss was quick to take on the task. We're a tight crew--all of us are friends--and we'd do anything for each other. We especially loved Dylan. He was the crazy glue which held us together a lot of the time, always making light of things and keeping us laughing.
He was a bit of a hippie, wearing his hair long, keeping a good collection of tie-dyed t-shirts and peace signs around. And he had a lot of hippie friends. You may have seen them around Payson, just hanging out and walking around bare-foot. I never knew how many of these friends he had until his memorial service; It sort of looked like a smaller-scaled Woodstock. Pretty cool, and just how Dylan would've liked it. His graveside service wasn't the traditional religious service, the kind I've been to many times. Rather, it was a beautiful celebration and tribute to him, and who he was. My boss, Rich Lewis, conducted the service, and gave a well-worded speech. Dylan's aunt, Angela, then talked about Dylan; all of his amazing qualities, especially that of knowing what it is to be a good person. I thought it was a nice touch that Angela, amongst other family members, dressed in traditional hippie/flower child attire. Dylan would have loved seeing her. And perhaps he did. His Uncle Joel played a song on his guitar, and sang "Wish You Were Here," by Pink Floyd, a favorite of Dylan's. His Grandma Judy then talked about Dylan and all of the progress he'd made in the time he's been living at her house. The whole family is lucky to have Judy. She's always been such a strong and good person.
At the end of the service, Travis took the mic and thanked everyone for coming. He then talked about the casket that he had helped make for his son, a very emotionally therapeutic project, indeed. It was a beautiful casket, one that Dylan would have loved. But Dylan also loved VW Buses and all things hippie. He was a free spirit, and had a very creative mind. So Travis told everyone to write something on the casket, and he had an assortment of colored Sharpies with which to do it. I thought that maybe a few kids would write on it, or that his closest hippie friends would. But to my surprise and joy, nearly everyone there wrote something, some message, or just drew a flower, a sun, or a peace sign. It looked amazing when it was done. No one could agree more, that this service couldn't have been any more perfect, if Dylan had written the script to it himself.
To my friend Dylan: I love you Man. You were one of the good ones. You had reached points in your life that were ahead of your time; points I can only hope to reach at some point. I will miss you Friend. Thank you for sharing yourself with all of us before you had to go. We'll see you on the flip-flop.
We began making his ca