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In Memoriam, Noel Neptune (1965-1998)

by Vincent Neptune  
2/26/2012 / Events

He was a good and decent man, a hardworking, well-meaning, God-fearing gentleman of high principles and ambition. His popularity, based on solid moral character and a very pleasing personality, was without peer. He was always there with a quick and open smile, ready and willing to lend a helpful hand. He was still in the prime of his youth, filled with life - a man of sober mind and steady character.

Thus the final episode of such a life, well spent and meaningful, is an occasion of momentous significance, seemingly even more inconceivable, more surreal, than the vanishing of centuries. And even as I write this, a part of me remains numb with shock and disbelief - hoping perhaps that this eulogy is for another - and not for the one for whom it is written. For he was as dear to me as only a sibling can be, conceived in the same gene pool, in the same genetic matrix, cell of my cell, heart of my heart, blood of my blood, inseparable in memory.

How have the years flown by, from the earlier days of our youth to that time in our lives when we emerged from the innocence of childhood to take our place on God's earth as men. And to think that life has now turned inwards on itself, that that which was conceived in spirit, a union of divine breath and dust, has returned from whence it came, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

What lies before us here today is the last visible manifestation of a life lived and loved, a life in turn loved and cherished by many. What lies before us is the last mortal and tangible remnant of a dream. For I state this truth, this whole truth, and nothing more than this truth, that my brother, Noel, has awakened from this dream of life and entered, wide-eyed, into eternity.

And he was unequivocally so much more than a candle in the wind, snuffed out suddenly and without any inclination of warning. For my brother held his place in our lives like a brilliant and vibrant sun, his death a terrible, unexpected, unforeseen eclipse, the sun, our world, plunged into terrible and utter darkness, an unimaginable tempest shattering the mind; cold, storm-tossed winds tearing apart the fibers of our consciousness.

And to feel the mind reeling with the irony, incredulously gaping at the seeming meaninglessness of it all, that he had died the day after Christmas, several days after his thirty-third birthday, and just one week before his marriage.

And how can one even begin to comfort the Mother, heart-torn and grieving, the tragedy-struck Father, the brothers and sister shocked and disbelieving, the wife-to-be, widowed even before the sacred bonds of marriage, already sanctified in their hearts, were complete, the family and friends that gather to pay their final respects, all perhaps hoping that this is but a dream, that my brother, Noel, will yet rise like Lazarus and set us free from this torment.

He was one of seven - a link now irretrievably severed. And what can I, another missing link, offer but these commemorative words to give voice to this tragic loss that shall forever reverberate in our hearts and minds and souls. A mere poignant litany of words, but in the beginning was the Word, and these words, born of truth, shall set all free: that my brother, Noel, has ascended from mortal life to life immortal. That he has taken his place in the Kingdom of God, singing praises to the Most High.

It was Jesus, the Word, Who said: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, yet shall he live. And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die." (John 11: 25-26)

Therefore, inasmuch as my brother was undoubtedly a true believer, we can, in the storm-center of our grieving, take some comfort and solace in knowing that Mr. Noel Lenny Neptune has moved on to a greater and better life - a life that cannot, will never, ever, end.

(Read on my behalf by Ms. Marilyn Neptune on Wednesday December 30th 1998, at the funeral in the Open Bible Standard Church in Laventille, Port Of Spain, Trinidad W.I; I was unable to attend.)


"I've seen it all in my brief and pointless lifehere a good person cut down in the middle of doing good, there a bad person living a long life of sheer evil. So don't knock yourself out being good, and don't go overboard being wise. Believe me, you won't get anything out of it. But don't press your luck by being bad, either. And don't be reckless. Why die needlessly?" - King Solomon (Ecclesiastes 7: 15-17)

(C) Vincent J. Neptune

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