Naoki Daniel Kurimoto

Submitted by: Brenda R Schuck
Date: Wednesday, August 19, 2020 @ 03:48:19 pm

As a child, my son, Naoki was vibrantly alive, full of energy, talent, enthusiasm, intelligence and pure spirit. In his own words, he was a rocket, and he was an amazing leader on every athletic field on which he played. Even as an adult struggling with addiction, he touched the lives and the hearts of so many. As one of his friends so aptly put it, his heart was his biggest muscle. His loss has been devastating for the communities in which he grew up and lived. And saddest of all, is the fact that this story, his story, can be told in many thousands of ways, by many of thousands of people, many of you among them.

My son taught me many things, not only during his lifetime, but through his death as well. Strange as it may sound, it has been in “the process of letting him go” and allowing him to move on unencumbered by my would of’s, could of’s, should of’s and if only’s; instead, bound by a love that continues to grow, that each of us is experiencing a new pathway to freedom.

Our loved ones who have crossed over are no longer bound by their bodies. They are no longer bound by the pain of the substance to which they were enslaved that consumed them. And the very last thing that they want for us now, is for us to be bound by our loss of them; by anger, regret, recrimination or remorse; or bound by a longing that can only remain unfulfilled.

The legacy that my son left behind, was in the impact that he made while he was here and how he showed up in life as reflected by the way that he made others feel. He followed the compass of his heart and accomplished his mission. He fought as best he could in the face of adversity. And his having ultimately lost that fight does not diminish anything. Death is not a failure.

My hope today is that as we honor the grief and the pain of loss, that we may be able to hold both peace and pain at the same time, so that we too may choose to live life “full out” as my son did (and as I suspect as your love ones did also) in whatever way that translates into a life of continuing meaning and purpose for each of us.