The Unexpected Present

Requiem and Repast for a Renaissance Man

Yuri in Nature

For most people, Memorial Day is Opening Day of the summer season, yet for the past two years, Yuri and I spent the weekend and weeks following in the ICU. This year, on Saturday, family and friends gathered at a morning memorial service, requiem, and repast commemorating the 40th day since Yuri’s spirit and essence left his physical self, ultimately melding into the universe of our collective consciousness.

Voices harmonized beautifully and spiritual solace emanated from our parish priest like a ray of sunlight streaming through the stained glass. He married us in a similarly beautiful ceremony, and thirteen years later, I stood with family and friends as witnesses to a concluding farewell of earthly existence. It’s not the in-the-moment moment I wanted to be in, but that’s what happens when it happens without knowing why it happened this way. In essence, feeling the support and overflow of love and respect for Yuri and me was a huge comfort.

There are many different family units– the ones we are born into, and the ones we cultivate during our growing years finding our identities, our tribes of camaraderie until our later years of reminiscences, recollections, and memories. During the repast, everyone pitched in and it felt like an anticipation for an upcoming showtime. The champagne corks popped for mimosas and Irish coffee added to the remarks about their connections with Yuri and his music.

Mixed in with my family and friends, his musical and performance connections’ stories blended the strands from parish communities, parental family ties, and the diverse genres Yuri integrated as a timeless working musician for the masses. He stepped up to the plate and his magical touches brought a level of excellence to every performer and performance. Like Zelig, he played with so many various artists, that he couldn’t help but grow euphoniously, evolving into a Renaissance music man.

It was bittersweet watching as persons from different facets of our lives spent time looking at pivotal moments in Yuri’s life like a diamond cut to enhance the internal reflection that produced its sparkling brilliance. He had a remarkable journey and the outpouring of deep affection from loved ones hit those lovely high notes he had us all hanging onto. Yuri transitioned into a better place without fear or pain when his physical life ended. He was proud of his work and his song stories and easy-on-the-ear sounds will live on.

So, for now, my life will be in transition and I am unsure where the next chapter will lead. It’s a mystery.

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