Apr 22, 2007

[Personal] Eulogy

PostSecret image

On Wednesday, April 18, 2007 at 11:30pm, my father Ricardo "Ricky" Sunico died after we decided to take him off the respirator as per his wishes. The whole thing was all so sudden, I'm still trying to process things fully. There was a whole other he was living apart from what I knew including a girlfriend, many internet groups and stories circulated amongst our family. Being the estranged son, it was a bit of a shock to learn all this in the course of a few days and not be given the chance to work things out in the end.

We never seem to have enough time.

I've managed to reply to those email messages sent to me by various people wanting to share their condolences. I've also reviewed those blog entries of friends that I missed. I'm about to sit down to read the various posts and entries left over on The New Worlds Alliance, of which my father was a very active member.

Before I continue on with things, allow me to post the eulogy I had prepared but never had a chance to give. It's a little strange and was written while I couldn't sleep after the first day of his wake. I wrote these words standing at the lectern right beside his coffin.

My Eulogy

I didn't know how to start this - you don't quite get second chances with these things. I thought quoting Whitman might be good - he was my favorite poet after all. I fell in love with his works because of When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd and Oh Captain, My Captain, but somehow the image of a great star falling in the west seemed best left for the likes of Lincoln.

Then I knew it would be best to speak in words he and I had shared, in terms he had taught me all my life.

I am a friend of Ricky - I say these words proudly as his son. Looking at the many faces today, I'm sure you counted him as a friend as well. That is what he was - a friend to each and every one of us. Kind, loving, giving - Ricky always put other first, perhaps already to a fault. This was the only way he knew how to show his love - by being everyone's best friend in the world.

But Ricky was also my father, and fathers always teach their sons the most important things. Legacies must be passed on from father to son in one way or another. I can't help but wonder what he has left me.

Perhaps that's precisely it - WONDER. Ricky taught me awe, he taught me how to dream. He taught me how to see the world as more than meets the eye. I learned to love math and science and I also learned to love words. That led to me being inspired to master them whether in terms of understanding or using them to create new realities of my own. He filled my childhood with stories every night at my bedside, no matter how tired he was.

He led me to find new life and new civilizations in galaxies far, far away and back again to find something completely different every day. He taught me how to smile and laugh and have fun.

I owe him so much; this I cannot deny. No matter what I do, I cannot escape my legacy - I am my father's son. I owe my words, my writing to him. I owe my passions and whatever "success" I have now to him and the lessons I learned either from him or because of him in one way or another. I hope to make him proud, still, for what it's worth.

We are all fortunate to have known him, for even just meeting him once or twice, lucky to have exchanged words with him. We are blessed for having loved him as he loved us all. I look into your eyes and I remember all those who came this past week to show their love and support. I cannot help but smile with pride. You all carry his legacy as well, as does everyone whose lives he's touched. Even if we wanted to, we shall never forget him, we'll never lose the fond memories of him we all hold dear.

There are other worlds than these, and now Ricky is on, perhaps, the greatest adventure of them all. Ricky taught us how to smile, to laugh, to take pleasure in the simpler things. With these lessons, all that is left is to live our lives as best we can; to live our lives to the fullest.

He was more of a brother to me in many ways. Ricky was...my...friend.

And love.


  1. i haven't been in touch with Ricky this past year or so (except in the occasional parties), but way back then he was always there whenever our group (pinoy x-philes) held marathons and activities, and was always helpful in organizing both. when i also had a jazz band, he was an ever-present and appreciating audience, when very few people do watch our gigs. this is what i appreciate most about him. he truly has a Heart of Gold.

    my big regret is not having been able to catch up with him before his passing. i will always wish things were much different, that i have been closer to him the last months of his life.

    - joon of glibberish dot org

    ps. hope you don't mind, i'm linking your blog from mine, and adding it to my rss feeds list. nice to find a fellow techie around!

  2. thanks, joon. no issues with linking - it's also why i posted this for everyone to read. i felt it needed to be "heard" in a manner of speaking.

    hope you enjoy reading the Guide - my interests tend to mirror those of my father. go figure.

  3. Hi Rocky.
    It's too bad there wasn't time to read your eulogy but at the same time I am also relieved because after reading it now, my eyes are once again swimming in tears and if I had heard it then, I would surely have broken down again.

    Ricky is a much loved member of NWA, and VA in particular. We wish we could have done more for him yesterday but I am glad we were able to do what we did.

    I guess it is true ... the good really do die young.

    The next convention is just a few months away (July 2007) and it seems weird to think of having it without Ricky around.

    I will share your blog with my parents, btw, for they know Ricky, too, and they will love to hear/read what you have to say.

  4. Trek always remained closest to his heart and that's something he raised me to love as well. i'm glad you guys were there to help provide output to his passions.

    it all seems surreal - it's going to take many weeks and more blog entries to process all of this.

    expect me to be there in July, for what its worth. i think i owe it to him to be there.

  5. Thank you for commenting in my blog. Would it be possible to have a link exchange please? :) I'm glad to find that you have a blog as well

  6. Hey, Rocky. Thanks for commenting on the Hogwarts Philippines site. We look forward to seeing you at the next convention. I'm sure Ricky would love you being there. :)

  7. Hi, Rocky!

    Thanks for commenting on my blog. I read your eulogy; it honestly made me cry at my desk.

    Believe me, it doesn't look good to see a grown man -overweight and all of 5'10" at that- crying like a baby LOL

    But I guess that's one of the things that I learned from your dad... Being true to one's self, relishing life with zest and gusto.

  8. thank you everyone for your kind words. when i started reading the comments on NWA i was surprised at the number of people affected. once i started following the blog links and running a google search on ricky, i was even more overwhelmed. it seemed only fitting that i at least comment on everyone's sites / blogs to let them know their statements were appreciated.

    i'll be glad to link exchange with you.

    you can be sure i'll do my best to be there in july.

    sorry to make you cry, but then it is a pretty overwhelming situation and i just did my best to express that in my eulogy.

  9. Rocky, those are beautiful words. I couldn't help but cry when I read them. The picture even reminded me of one of the postcards in PostSecret (if you're familiar with that). Thanks for the comment you left on my blog. I appreciate it. You father will always remain in our memories. Like Meann said, we hope to see you on the next NWA convention. Again, my condolences.

  10. actually, it is a PostSecret card from last Sunday. it seemed fitting for the circumstances.

  11. Condolence, rOcky. Just want to tell you your euology moved me to reassess my relationship with my dad. Thanks for that.

  12. Hey Misterhubs,

    A lot of people seem to be saying that to me after reading my Eulogy. it's a good enough lesson to learn, so i hope you truly value it.