Don’t know why I feel compelled to share these, but here are the eulogies that were said at Erik’s memorial service in the order they were delivered. A lot of pain was felt by all that day. I guess I just wanted to share what an amazing soul our Erik was and is. Sigh.
My sweet little brother. I love you so much. I will miss you forever and always. I wonder what Thanksgiving and Christmas will be like without you. I cry just thinking about how you will not be a groomsman at my wedding one day. I am sad because I feel in this world you did not fully comprehend how much you were loved. But I think now, in Heaven, you do. Now you are free. I never thought I would be writing your obituary, or speaking at your memorial service. You were supposed to be doing that for me one day. I used to carry you around on my hip, just 1 or 2 years old at the time, when you were just a toddler. I beat up the bullies for you, but I guess I couldn’t protect you from everything. I know I will never get over the loss of you, my little brother. But I hope the memories that now make me sad will one day make me smile in fond, loving memory of you.
Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep by Mary Elizabeth Frye
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.
A Eulogy for My Little Brother, Erik
My dear brother, my kindred spirit, my little partner in crime. I stand up here today in a reluctant state of disbelief. Since your untimely passing, my head has been savagely inundated with countless blissful memories of our life together. Our bond was so special and unbreakable, and I will miss our crazy endeavors as a perfect pair. Because there is simply no time to verbalize every sweet recollection of your beautiful existence as my little brother, I ask each lamenting soul in this room to envision your angelic, smiling face.
Those who have had the divine honor of sharing a part of their life with Erik will forever remember how sweet and caring he was, especially toward his only niece, Arleen. She was his pride and joy, and he loved her to unfathomable depths.
While he was still among us, his love for everyone radiated from all possible places in his heart. It is comforting to know that an immeasurable amount of it continues to touch everyone here and beyond. His warm hand is constantly trying to alleviate the pain and suffering felt as a result of his passing. I am undoubtedly assured that his torment has ceased to cast a heavy darkness on his pure spirit. His worldly chains have finally been lifted, and, as a result, his face can be felt on your skin when the sun beams down from the Heavens. His fingers can be felt combing through your hair when a cool breeze gently refreshes your face. His soul is the rain that is slowly washing away all this anguish. Never second-guess his presence, for he is always around us, breathing happiness into our darkened souls bit by bit. Erik, my love for you is and will always be without Earthly bounds. Blessed be the day when we meet again. You’re my main man.
I love you sweetheart.
Your Big Sister
Valentin’s Eulogy (One of Erik’s best friends)
I don’t know where to start as there is so much to say about you. A best friend, a brother, a son; in each role you did your best, often finishing a phone call with a “love u”. Love is what you brought us and you still do, but in a different way now. But rest assured and in peace, we love you too so much and always will. I can feel your presence as I am writing this, and that’s why the words come easy and simple, our relationship has never ended and you will always ride along with all of us in our lives. Great Erik, you had fingers like spider legs that could build and fix things at will, like a one-man factory. So many talents you displayed. You never hesitated to help a friend-or even a stranger in distress. You were an expert in a whole lot of things and all these things you did with a light heart, open to anyone who wanted in. You had the positive attitude of the man who does not seek the eye of the public but instead thrived on human presence, and activities with us, your loved ones, just being together. For you it was the best thing in the world. We gave you all that and much more, and for this reason, I feel happy for you, and I am happy myself. I thank you so much for lighting up the end of my long days at work with your smiles and ingenuity and endless projects. Also for letting me stay at your house when I felt alone. We never wasted a moment together. You were the king of the bike meet, the master installer and crafter, the one who answered the phone, no matter what, and if you didn’t, we missed you…just like today; but don’t worry about us, because your love is in the air, and is helping all of us to cope and heal. You left a little unexpectedly but it’s all right; no shame, no blame, no lack of fame. But I have one request: please watch over us. Erik, May you reach your place of peace and serenity, because you deserve it, and like we used to say, get there, at the speed of light! We’ll see each other again. Rest in peace baby brother.
Sean’s Eulogy (Erik’s friend from grade school on)
I don’t know where to begin. We have had so many good times together, times I never want to forget. We were two young adventurous souls, inseparable through our youth. Remember that time we went fishing in Florida? Michelle was the only one who would catch anything. I don’t know why we even tried. And the time we made a stone stove camping in Norway; it was completely useless but it satisfied our longing for adventure as young men. All the adventures we have been on have only left my tongue parched for more, if only you were here with me to experience the rest. I know you won’t let things change from our youth. You will be with me in spirit as we are inseparable souls. If the pain you had been suffering was anywhere near that of the sorrow we all experience through this rough time, then I am terribly sorry. Sorry that you felt you couldn’t talk to me. I had see you at your highest high and your lowest low, broke down in tears in my driveway, but after we talked, you had a whole new confidence. The Erik I knew and loved most, happy, confident and caring.
I could always tell you everything because you never judged me. You always had that vibe about you. You didn’t care about people’s imperfections or weird habits. You would make them feel good about it and loved them for who they are. You were surrounded by people who loved you Erik, but I think what you wanted more than to be loved was to love. It was never easy for you to how people that you loved them, but I think they knew anyway. I remember sitting in your truck before high school graduation loose and drunk on the sweet taste of freedom. This was possibly the happiest I had ever seen you. Not only had we managed to graduate high school, we did it together as best friends. You had given me so many things during our time, given me the change to see new faraway places and times I will never forget. But there is something else you gave me that I will never lose, a second family. A family that loves me as one of their own, a family that has been there for me through it all. Elisa, she always nursed me to health and didn’t just put up with our childish games, she joined us in them! Lukas, he is the little brother I never had. And when he came to me for girl advice, though with no good advice to share, it was still special. Annika, she is going to start dating soon; I’ll try to make sure you would have approved of him. Michelle, she was our portal ot all that was cool at 14, CKY and Rock n’ Roll. Kristina, honestly I think we were more scared of her when we would sneak downstairs for a snack than your parents. And Rune, he had always told you not to do everything that was fun. That which was fun as a kid was also dangerous, so when I got older, I realized when he told me not to do those fun and dangerous things was because he loved me like a son. I know you will be watching over us all, because this is your chance to show everyone you love them. As for me, the days have grown longer with nights much shorter, but as time goes by, I will be better and I will always lift every stone looking for an adventure with my best friend.
“God works in mysterious ways.” How true that is today. But what is not a mystery to me is the tremendous impact you had on us, Erik. More perhaps than you even realized. During the 20 years I had the privilege of knowing you, you taught us unconditional love, compassion and acceptance. That was your life’s work. And I can’t think of any higher calling than that. And this will impact all of us for generations to come.
You were the sweetest person I have ever known, and your sensitivity sometimes caused hardship for you, but even through that, you never passed judgment on anyone, ever.
Erik was always concerned about other people and their feelings.
I remember one day—Erik was probably around 3 or 4 years old—he had just gotten his vaccinations. Elisa came in carrying him, and I asked, “How are you doing?” Erik answered by laying his head on Elisa’s shoulder, patting her gently on the back and saying, “I have a good time.”
As he was growing up, we spent many of our holidays in Norway, and he came to love everything Norwegian, including Bestefar, Bestemor, his uncle Knut Bjorn (and his military uniforms—by the way Erik always liked to dress up looking good), aunt Margaret, and aunt Bente Karin, plus all his cousins. He especially loved cross county skiing at our place up there, it was so peaceful, he once told me.
Although the language barrier played a factor in communicating, normally it was not a problem. Except perhaps one time, when Erik was 4 or 5years old. He and Bestemor (my mother) were sitting out in her garden. He was asking her, “What color is this? What color is that?” and then he asked her, “What color is your butt?” My mother told me later that she did not know what the word “butt” ment, but she answered it anyway, since Erik was talking about colors. So she said “Green.” His eyes grew big as saucers, and in amazement he asked, “You have a green butt?!”
Later on, Erik developed a keen interest in anything with wheels, and anything he could steer. He got his first electric Monster truck on his 5th birthday, and when I told him it was time to go to bed that night, he replied by saying, “I like to sleep right here, on the hood of the truck.” That passion propelled Erik into becoming the great mechanic he was.
At age 13, he took an old snowmobile that I’d left at my parents’ house in Norway that had not been started for 15 years. Erik worked on it day and night for 2 days. He got it started, and rewired the whole electrical system while he was at it.
Erik had many hobbies and passions: skateboarding, snowboarding, motorcycle riding, bike riding, horseback riding, boating, wake boarding, cross country skiing, bike repair, truck restorations and customizing, welding, and anything else mechanical. While some of these hobbies came and went, the constant in Erik’s life was his love of music. He taught himself to play the guitar and his musical talent came to light quickly. He became very good at it, playing both classical and electric guitar. Music, to him, was a comfort and a release from daily struggles.
Erik, I will sorely miss you sitting on the couch, playing Malagueña on your 12-string or a blistering, amped-up Jimi Hendrix song, blaring from your room. The door didn’t have to be open to hear it. And I also think the neighbors got a free concert as well.
I will miss going together to the racetrack with our motorcycles, or riding on country roads, and you passing me, doing a wheelie.
I will miss your great smile that could light up a room, and your funny sense of humor.
I will miss hearing your very modified truck coming home late at night, preceded by the BOOM BOOM BOOM from your highly modified stereo system.
I will miss you coming to me, showing me new cool stuff on the internet.
I will miss your inside jokes—you know what I’m talking about.
I will miss saying to each other, “ bye I love you” after each phone call and each goodbye.
Your ups and downs was sometimes hard on your sensitive soul, but it gives me great comfort to know that you are now free, free of earthly trials and tribulations.
The saying, “Only the Good Die Young” has never been more true than it is here today.
Erik, from the bottom of my heart I want to thank you for the honor of having been your student here on earth for the past 20 years. So long for now. Godspeed and God bless you, my dearest son, Erik. I will miss you. Bye I love you.
How heartwarming it is to see that so many of you have come to bid Erik a fond farewell. Toward the end of his life, he often felt so lonely, but as I look out at this large gathering today, clearly he is deeply loved.
I do want my words to offer comfort to friends and family, and I hope that they ultimately will, but I also hunger to share my grief and purge this awful darkness from my heart. When a mother loses a son or daughter, the tragic horror of it all reaches the most intense level imaginable. For me, the world has lost all of its color and is draped in a dreary gray. It’s as though we mothers are bonded to our children with an invisible umbilical cord that is both physical and emotional in nature. When severed, especially in such a sudden and unanticipated way, there is great pain. I carry a heavy cloak of sadness on my shoulders that I cannot shirk. But as the days pass, that cloak lightens and the pain lessens, thanks to the solace and support of friends and family. I’m so grateful to you all.
Erik and I shared a lovely bond. During his childhood, we lavished each other with affection and attention. I’d take him on his special Buddy Day once a week to have ice cream at Baskin Robbins, visit his favorite stores, play in the park or go to the movies. We even had a special handshake and saying that only he and I shared. Every night I read him bedtime stories, sang his favorite lullabies, shared with him all those qualities that made him so special to me and told him how very grateful I was that he chose to be a part of my life.
We spent a lot of time together, Erik and I, particularly during the years I homeschooled him. To satisfy that voracious appetite of his, we made many trips to Goode Company, Chick-Fil-A, Subway, and other places. I loved those many moments when we simply sat outside to enjoy each other’s company.
We also shared some of the same taste in music. We loved to hang out in his truck together listening to AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Heart, and other great bands. Of course sometimes we had to compromise on the volume, especially when Lil Wayne was blasting through his system. I miss listening to his amazing guitar playing, watching him practice his welding, and hearing in great and often excessive detail about the subjects that enthralled him so. He was a man of immense passion.
Erik also had a gift for noticing the beauty around him. Even as a toddler, his sense of aesthetics was very keen, especially for beautiful women. He’d tell them how lovely their dress looked, how soft their hair felt, and how much he loved them. He even begged his preschool teacher, Ms. Kane, to wait for him instead of marrying her fiancée. One of the funniest memories I have of Erik happened while we were vacationing in the Cayman Islands. We were all sitting together around a large table at an outdoor restaurant. He was sitting in his grandmother’s cozy lap snuggling against her chest. After a while, he sat up a little, pulled at the collar of her t-shirt and peered inside with great interest. Then he looked into her face and said with fond admiration, “Nice boobs, Bestemor.”
Although I have regrets as most mothers do, I am so grateful that I told him I loved him every day, several times a day and that he did the same for me. I smothered him with hugs and kisses as often as his tolerance would allow and whenever he caught me gazing at him with a sappy look of adoration, he’d roll his eyes with a smile on his face and tell me how annoying I was. I want so deeply to annoy him once more.
Like most of us, Erik had plenty of ups and downs, but when his failures outnumbered his successes, I’d say, ‘Erik, I am never disappointed in you. I know that each of us have to travel our own path in life and those paths are all unique. For some, that journey is littered with some serious potholes, but each is a teachable moment to be treasured because they bring us wisdom, compassion and soulfulness. As long as the defeats are steppingstones to success rather than weapons to sabotage self worth, it’ll all be okay, Erik. I have faith in you.’
Erik was such a wonderful soul. So gentle. So sweet. So affectionate. So sensitive. So concerned for the feelings of others. As most of you know, he had a charming sense of humor that could lift the moods of all around him. Oh and that smile. That loving, kindhearted, and often rascally smile. His smile lit up the world with warmth and joy. I miss that smile.
I truly believe Erik graced our lives to teach us something. Maybe that something was to learn to love and accept each other unconditionally in spite of our quirks and flaws. In the end, it doesn’t really matter if a person went to Harvard or HCC, has lost a job with no prospects for one in the near future, brings home a report card that isn’t perfect, or aspires to be a blue collar worker rather than a doctor or a lawyer. What really matters is how deeply we love and are loved. I hope we all remember that when our kids leave for school every morning and go to bed every night. Erik sacrificed in great anguish to pass those lessons along to us.
I take great comfort in knowing that Erik is at peace now, free from anguish and pain. I know that he’s in the loving care of Aunt Neecy, Bestemor, his close friends, Allie and Jordan, among others. I pray that he will comfort and care for us until we are all united once more.
Erik, my baby boy, my darling angel, the world is a dimmer place without you. But I am grateful and honored that the angels loaned you to us for twenty beautiful years, years I will forever cherish. You have made me a better person and the world a better place. I love you with all of my heart.