Rest in peace, Daryl. You were a beautiful person, and your absence hurts us all. Because I know you’d appreciate these words: إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ. What a reminder, what a terrible but real reminder that, indeed, none of us are of this world, that we all belong to God and to God is our final return. May God accept you with wide open arms; may God be your company in the hereafter, may God bestow all Her blessings upon you. May your light, the legacy you left behind, shine upon us all, and may that light be your entry way into Paradise. Aameen.
Last weekend, while scrolling on my Facebook feed, I saw a link titled “BU student remembered as a ‘brilliant scholar’…” and I go, “What? Why’s he being remembered?…” And I clicked it and I couldn’t believe any of it. I still can’t. I refuse to believe it … even though it’s done, it’s happened, he’s gone … and he’s never coming back. And then as I was going to school, I saw someone who looked just like him from the back, and it hit me: Daryl is gone. Nothing and anyone who looks like him could ever be him again.
He was a classmate of mine. A kind, gentle, brilliant person. His research was fascinating, he had excellent contributions to make to class discussions, he had innovative ideas for his term papers … and he was so patient and so kind both inside and outside of class settings that his eternal absence is being felt very strongly. And I never told him that. I never told him how much I admired him, how much I valued his opinions, how much I valued him as a person. I don’t know if he knew at all what a wonderful human he was and how much everyone who knew him loved, respected, and appreciated him. The way everyone’s been talking about him posthumously, expressing so much love and admiration for him breaks my heart in case he didn’t know any of this. I really, really hope he knew …
You know how people say, “This person is always smiling?” I think Daryl is the only person I can say that about that I know in person. I never saw him not-smiling. That doesn’t make someone better than anyone else, no, and it doesn’t mean everyone should be that way, but it does say something about their personality – and that they probably knew about the power of carrying a certain aura about themselves that changed the atmosphere into a pleasant, welcoming space. Because that’s what happened whenever he was around.
My heart cries for his loss. The world cries, too. We’ve lost someone with a brilliant mind, a wonderful personality, a kind character. The world was a better place just because he was present in it. And now he’s gone…. My heart especially breaks for his family and everyone who knew him even briefly. It’s been devastating for everyone, it’s still a shock to all, it’s still difficult for all. May God make it easier for us, and may Daryl rest in peace, power, and love. God bless his soul, aameen.
Rest in peace, friend. Rest in peace.
You will always, always be missed.