We all though he was kidding, when he suggested that his funeral would feature a eulogy by the king of crunk himself, Li’l Jon…
After all, if he’d even KNOWN the boisterous performer in question, surely we’d have known about it previous to his death. It would, presumably, be the source of some amazing stories.
Yet, when the day came, and we gathered around, the friends, the family, to view what once had been a person who once had meant so much to us, there he was, his traditional garb replaced with a muted, appropriately funereal suit and tie, his dreadlocks tied back tastefully, his grillz glinting as he spoke in hushed tones to those who shared his obviously genuine sadness at our shared friend’s passage.
Clearly he’d had layers we hadn’t known about, details about his life none of us could ever possibly have guessed. But then, don’t we all?
And, when the time came for Mr. Jon to deliver the eulogy, he did his departed friend proud, a performer better known for his production tics and catch-phrases finally slowing down, waxing lyrical on the nature of friendship and of loss, expressing in ways we could not what we all wished we could have said to the man so nearby, laying at his ease, but also that it was now too late to say, as it would fall upon deaf ears.
And, as we reflected, we realized that Li’l Jon didn’t just speak for the dead, he spoke for us all, he spoke to the fragility of the human experience, and how quickly and suddenly life can end, how important it is to express our appreciation, our love, not to the man in the box on the dais, but rather to one another every day, because there is no telling which opportunity to tell somebody we love them might be our last…
And we knew that it was true, although it was a truth that we spent most of our time doing what we could to avoid, and we knew that here, now, finally we could not avoid it, and as Li’l Jon’s words sunk in we were moved by them, but moreover, we were changed by them. We couldn’t not be, it was unavoidable and not one of us would ever be the same.
We wept, at his words, wept openly.
Every one of us.
From his widow, to the wall. ‘Til the sweat dropped down our balls, those of us who bore his pall.
There was always grief, grief, motherfucker. There was always grief, grief, God damn…