Eulogy for Joy Crocker

Delivered by her son, Laramie Crocker, at Plymouth Church in Oakland, June 24th, 2006

There are two ways to confront our inevitable passage from this life and the uncertainty of consciousness after.

One is to assume that the cessation of life is the cessation of consciousness.

The other is to hold a belief in a consciousness or collective consciousness after life.

Through faith and hope, people can deny the inevitability of death.

So we are here today either to mourn inevitability, and comfort the loss to "we, the living," or to celebrate the passage to the next plane of consciousness. Joy often spoke of a belief in higher and eternal consciousness. Although she did not expect to be met by a graying, patriarchal god, she did fondly hope that there would be angels and choirs and lots of music.

I am here to celebrate the love she shared with her dear partner Jean.

I am here to celebrate the Life of my mother, the music she made while she was here, and all that she gave me and taught me:
    To love everyone
    To fight for peace and justice
    To fight small-mindedness
    To reach for high-consciousness thinking
    To love big and beautiful words
    To see beauty all around me
    To enjoy a good nap
    and, most of all,
    To make beautiful music.

Joy said: "I am Music." She dedicated her life to making music and figuring out how to share that music with others. I'm here to celebrate her with music -- to respect her wish that we all rejoice in a life well lived. My belief ends there. Joy's belief was that we should also rejoice in her passing through to the next, higher consciousness.

She and I spent March recording her favorite pieces on the piano. As I listen to this music -- which she wanted to share with everyone, with so many people she had touched -- I know the essential things she cared about continue.

I know these things continue: her music, and the music in me that she taught and inspired.

Every time I make music, I celebrate Joy.

Visit Joy's Homepage