One of the problems with being homeless is a lot of time on your hands. I fill that void with sci-fi's, mistries and fantasy novals. I just finished reading "W is for Wasted" by Sue Grafton. Its about a private investor that gets caught up in the lives of some homeless people.
In the end, two homeless men died. The eulogy is so INCREDIBLE, I have to share it. If it doesn't touch your heart, I feel sorry for you.
We are here this afternoon to mourn the passing of two good friends. Terrence and Felix. They where homeless. Their ways were not those we most desire for ourselves, but that didn't make them wrong. We seem determined to save the homeless, to fix them, to change them into something other than what they are. We want them to be like us, but they are not.
The homeless do not want our pity, nor do they deserve our scorn. Our judgements about them, for good or for ill, negate their right to live as they please. Both the urge to rescue and the need to condemn fail to take into account the concept of personal liberty, which they may exercise as they see fit as long as their actions fall within the law. The homeless are not lesser mortals. For Terrace and Felix, their battles were within and their victories hard-won. I think of these two men as soldiers of the poor, part of an army of the disaffiliated. The homeless have established a nation within a nation but we are not at war. Why should we not coexist in peace when we may be in greater need of salvation than they?
This is what the homeless long for: respect, freedom from hunger, shelter from the elements, safety, the companionship of like-minded. They want to live without fear. They want to enjoy the probity of the open air without the risk of bodily harm. They want to be warm. They want the comfort of a clean bed when they are ill, relief from pain, a hand offered in friendship. Ordinary conversion. Simple needs. Why are their choices so hard for us to accept?
What you see before you is their home. This is their dwelling place. This grass, this sunlight, these palms, this mighty ocean, the moon, the stars, the clouds, overhead though they sometimes harbor rain. Under this canopy they have staked out a life for themselves. For Terrence and for Felix, this is also the wide bridge over which they passed from life into death. Their graves will be unmarked but that does not mean they are forgotten. The earth remembers them, evern as it gathers them tenderly into its embrace. The sky still claims them and we who honor them will hold them dear from this day forward.
Although the author nails this perfectly, she did miss it just a little. There IS a war against the homeless people out there. Share this with your friends.