A Sermon for Dan

As life is a banquet so death is the salt. It brightens the flavors of the day. We the people need death. It gives hope to the critic who doesn’t think being is such a merry dish, but may be made palatable. It is a smash-mouth scrum that causes us to catch our breath and hold those we hold dear more dear. Thank fucking God and all the gods for death when it makes us glad to breathe and smell and taste and kiss and fuck.

This other part is private. In our few years, Dan and I have uncovered stone after stone of anti-societal agreement. We have celebrated whisky of various sources, finally coming to agree on Bourbon as the essence of life. We conflated courtesy with good living, and women with good life. We hated hatred and loved those around us. I have never had a better friend.

We will not combine our fortunes and buy a house for the four of us. We will not sail the sound to brave the Golden Gate. Not now. It kind of doesn’t matter. Most things don’t work. Only the wanting works, but it works well. Oh, bang the drum slowly and play the fife lowly. A gentle man has passed our way and is gone.

Pat Carroll



6 Responses to “A Sermon for Dan”

  1. John Michael (Banana Boy) Hannan Says:

    This piece is from Hospice literature that I read as my Mom was dying – it had great meaning for me – I hope it does for you all as our friend Dan has gone from our sight but not from our hearts. I will miss you, my friend.

    Gone From My Sight

    I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads it’s white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. It is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch it until at length it hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
    Then someone at my side says: “There, it’s gone!”
    “Gone where?”
    Gone from my sight. That is all. It is just as large in mast and hull and spar as it was when it left my side and it’s just as able to bear it’s load of living freight to it’s destined port.
    It’s diminished size is in me, not in it. And just at the moment when someone at my side says: “There, it’s gone!” there are other eyes watching it coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: “Here it comes!”
    And that is dying.

    By Henry Van Dyke

  2. HogN@ Says:

    WOW! Paddy WordSmith is BACK! Well said & heart felt. Thank you!

  3. BJ Says:

    Well said.
    My tears leave salty streaks on my face and something is squeezing me heart.
    Missing Dan.

  4. John Says:

    Thank you Pat.

  5. Bill Says:

    An open letter to Dan

    Dan m’man, I needed a few days to send my greetings and bid you adieu. If success in life is best measured by the hearts you’ve touched and those you’ve left behind, you’re as fine as any person I’ve ever met. My only regret is that I didn’t meet you sooner. But then again, we’re all moving in the same direction and when my time comes to join you, I’ll look forward to sharing some more tall tales, jokes and laughter with you once again.

    Until then… happy trails, my friend



  6. Ken Says:

    I am not a Baltan, but I’ve heard many a tale out of school from the legendary annual reunions.

    I have known Dan & Heidi for many years, and I’ve never known a better man, nor a better couple.

    I’ve watched the boys grow up and become fine young men.

    I found this site when I was looking for funeral information, as I’ve only just learned of the passing.

    This is a very sweet and visceral tribute. Thanks for making me feel better.

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