This is something I wrote on my birthday, October 24th, in 2015. This was just six days beyond the passing of my first cousin Paul, who shared my birthday with me and was exactly two years younger than me. It is also the day of his funeral.
He has been gone more than a year now, but I am still gripped by immense loss at times. I shared this both at the wake, and at Paul’s Viking funeral as well. Myself, Paul’s brother Kevin, and many of his friends built a Viking boat and burned it on the lake where Paul grew up.
It was something I know he would have loved.
Anyways, without further ado:
Eulogy for Paul (Birthday Buddy)
Hello, I am Trevor, and I am Paul’s cousin on his Mother’s side. Today is our birthday, and I feel a particular sadness — a vortex of misery and emptiness without my birthday buddy.
Paul Allen Perkins was one of the most genuine, kind, and thoughtful people we have ever had the pleasure to love in our lives. With all of us together, it has been wonderful to share stories about how helpful he was; how it all came straight from the heart.
There is too much to say, and Paul meant too much as a person to be able to appropriately use words to describe his impact on those around him.
Paul had a demeanor – a smile. One that could and would light up a room. You would have to experience it to understand it. I appreciate so much that we all have the ability to share knowing that feeling together.
Paul was an eagle scout, a craftsman, a mechanic, a metal head, a ladies man, and a loyal and true friend. Unfortunately there isn’t enough time to list off all the adjectives to describe Paul.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. How do you quantify a life? To say it is precious is almost an insult, there is nowhere near a powerful enough word to describe its worth.
We all are extremely lucky to have had every little moment we had in the life of Paul Perkins. It was not long, no. Tragically short – but it was full of love, laughter, adventure, and adrenaline. Paul took “live your life to the fullest” literally and never looked back. We can all take solace in the fact that Paul passed as a happy man.
This… emptiness we all feel. This lack of understanding and inability at times to process a loss of this nature is a good thing. It may be odd to say that, or hear it – but it means that what Paul left behind is many good memories. He will be greatly missed and never forgotten.
Another aspect of our beloved Paul that we can celebrate is that we got to watch him transform from the innocent little boy who refused to grow up – into the assertive, passionate man he became. Paul had recently really discovered purpose in his life and was making steps to realize his dreams. As a young man, that is an incredibly important and wonderful step in life to take. We all have a window into Paul’s possibilities and they were endless. He was truly one of a kind.
I am so sorry to say that the world lost one of its best and brightest. We all must come to terms with that fact. And we have a long road ahead.
Happy Birthday Paul, we love you and miss you so much.