Eulogy to Jerry Garcia




First of all Jerry, I say thank you and I love you.

When I watched Luke Skywalker grieve his loss when Obi Wan left...and when Yoda left, I did not understand. I thought I understood. Jerry I understand now because of you.

There are all the usual binding affirmations of my never forgetting and all the selfish pain I feel and all of that. We all feel alot of the same feelings for you and you know those feelings very well...We also all have our own personal feelings and experiences with you... The Native American Tradition brings to us wisdom in the saying

"Each man is different; he must walk his own path- Each man is the same; he must walk his own path.."

Jerry you brought this wisdom home to all who have the heart to hear it. Your gift seems to be expanding rapidly since the announcement.

I want to speak now of the feelings about your leaving that I want to get out to you.

One part of me keeps quietly whispering that you are not really gone but tired. I have learned to believe in everything in a funny sort of way...Maybe it is not so much believe in everything, but more about being open for anything to be in its state of being we call physically present. You taught me that.

Some of the others might stop reading my words to you right here because they think I will not accept your death. I accept your death the way you and the rest of the band taught me to accept mine. I thought we might all leave one day with you leading us through the veil(s) those of us "who could bear to believe we might make it". (I get those words from James Taylor.)

I remember feeling the show ask me if I wanted to leave many times and I said I knew I could but I would stay and anyone else who wanted to go but was waiting on me might go if they wish, and I saw many come and I saw many go, and now that you're gone I feel like I want to go. If you really are physically gone or unwilling to manifest again physically cuz of whatever, I accept that and I also want you to know that I will be proud to continue with the band such as it is, if Bobby steps up to captain us and whether we do or do not find a brave that would step up to begin to fill your mighty shoes on the lead guitar. I know that you want the band to continue. I keep saying to everyone that I know it will be hard and without you here on this side we will all have to open up to let you come through us from the other side, and that that is what we have all been practicing with you for all these years to do.

Now we have to show up even more.

You know well enough on some levels how many shows I went to and what I brought with me to either help us to raise it up or throw on the cart of clay to haul. You heard me yelling my love and thanks on those nights. You felt me over there behind Mickey and Billy some nights, you laughed into the song with me when I got lost and found you again, or felt our strength in the music. You called me a bluebird on bluebird hill, you teased me when I felt ashamed at how bright we were burning, you made me physically sick when I fought the music and the story, nurtured me when I gave in and let myself grow.. Always some clues for me about my current personal life issues and challenges leading up to and during, and after every show, no matter what. You helped me remember that I am a verb. I am not a noun.

Nouns are part of me I leave behind. I am a sound and I am a light.

I feel you very strongly, and it is strong enough to confuse me about whether you are still on this side or not.. If you are still on this side and still want to play guitar, then okay, if not that's okay too..You did so much that I understand if you are done. There are quite a few of us acting like we don't know what to do, like we don't know how to carry on. After I got over as much of the rage and fear and dread and sadness and blame and guilt as I have ( I want it to be all of it!!) so far, I can feel myself adjusting to the tremendous amount of Shakti that has been released these last few days and feel clearer all the time as I absorb what you have given me. It has touched my world to the farthest reaches and Those still sleeping are even wondering what it is that they can no longer hear in the vibration here. They are starting to stir.

I want to say I am sorry it has taken me so long to finish my work in the hemp movement, and know that whether there are any more Grateful Dead shows coming up or not, I will not be sitting around waiting for shows, I will be working hard in the hemp and in the digital realm to bring things up to schedule in the Cumberland mine side of my craft. Your work gave me alot of energy for all of this and still does. The announcement of your passing was as I said before extremely successful at triggering a profound refresh of all of the Shakti we have raised over the years. I have some dread about the reaction of those who live and lived close to you to my words and I ask you to help them understand.

I understand your reasoning behind not wanting to be on the stage too long, and those who do not return because you aren't there on the stage, missed something in what you sing and play. I know you forgive me for the ways I can not keep up and I understand why you went on. I understand why you left us all here just this side of the de-regulation of hemp, and what our challenge is, and I know you love us enough to let us make the final steps of our journeys for ourselves each in our own ways the way that you demonstrated to all of us so spectacularly.

I looked into your eyes one time close enough for you to look back, you probably remember if you feel like it, you were pretty busy right then but I know you saw me and that will have to be close enough for now it seems. I feel you close and if it is from the other side then you and the band and the show raised even more love than my mind imagines because it feels like you might still be on this side it is so strong!

If Bobby and Phil and Mickey and Billy and Vince and everyone still show up for the Grateful Dead, with or without a lead guitar, with you on this side or on the other side or with you off on something else, I want to tell you one more time that I will give it all I got to be there. If it is the highest and best for all of us that the Grateful Dead show pass with you to the virtual realm, to pass the yoke of this vessel to the children who will take it up again, then so be it.

I will keep singing I will keep dancing I will keep playing.

I stayed on this side of the veil for now, perhaps to walk with the rest of us left here to 2012.

One way or another I want to thank you for showing up for us and wish for you blessings and goodness beyond measure the way that you have wished it upon me.

Namaste' my loving brother, we look for you in the skies and standing on the Moon.

Stephen Saundersthe maji



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