I would like to express my deepest sympathies to Ryan’s wife, Carol, and his two lovely daughters, Casey and Lisa. Ryan was a devout member of our congregation, and although I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing him as a friend, I did know him as a child of God.

His passing comes as a tremendous blow to all of us. I say “blow” and not “surprise” because, as many of you know, Ryan did put thousands of bees on his face a lot. A hobby he very much enjoyed in his spare time.

When a life, like Ryan’s, is taken at such a young age, there are many questions left unanswered. Questions like Why was this his time? Or What did he think was eventually going to happen if he kept putting bees all over his face?

… I’m sorry … my apologies—please excuse me. This is upsetting for all of us … Where was I? Yes … Ryan was a pious man who brought his wonderful family into our house of God every Sunday, where, with open arms, he welcomed Jesus Christ into his life.

Which, come to think of it, could be where he got the beard idea. Apparently, he didn’t realize Jesus’s beard was actually made out of facial hair, not bees. Because making his beard out of bees would have made Jesus insane.

… I’m sorry … I’m really very sorry, Carol. I’m just upset … Please, allow me to continue.

While no words can truly express our feelings for Ryan or ease the pain his family feels so deeply for his passing, I’d like to read this quote by William Wordsworth, which his loved ones have chosen for him:

That best portion of a good man’s life,
His little, nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love

For our Lord and for the parishioners of this church where he prayed, Ryan’s little acts will not go unremembered. Especially his conscious decision to put deadly insects on his effing face! I mean, come on, who’s with me here? Bees sting! They have stingers that pierce your skin! Anyone curious why Ryan’s casket is closed? I’ll tell you why—because he swelled up like the Scooby-Doo float at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. That crazy bitch had more poison pumped into him than an amateur Sri Lankan snake charmer, for Christ’s sake!

Oh my God, I am so sorry—please stop crying, Casey, stop crying. I was kidding about your daddy swelling up. Kidding, sweetheart. I’m very sorry …

In … closing, let us stop thinking about the past and look toward the future, to a place far better than earth. A place best captured by a quote from Charles Montgomery:

Beyond this vale of tears there is a life above;
Unmeasured by the flight of years.
And all that life is love

And to this life above, Ryan must go. God bless you, Ryan. May you flail your arms wildly through the gates of heaven.