Eulogy for My Brother David
By Jonathan Jacobs
IŐm DavidŐs brother Jonny. You probably knew David had a brother, but you might not have known we were identical twins. Yes, identical twins. A medical miracle indeed. Six years apart and we looked nothing alike, and I always gave him so much credit for not resenting the fact that I got all the looks and all the brains.
ItŐs really important to me that we not just spend this time mourning DavidŐs passing but that we celebrate the wonderful life he lead and that he shared with each and every one of us.
So, as little brothers are apt to do under such difficult circumstances, I asked what David would have wanted me to say today. I am sure he would have wanted us to combine some of our tears with some smiles, some laughing and some reflection on how he helped make our lives a little sweeter. I want to share what I think were the five pillars of DavidŐs essence and some things we might want to do in his honor and his memory.
Pillar one: Medicine and Health.
I know most of you knew his passion for health, medicine and medical science. I know I donŐt stand alone as one of his beloved patients who he constantly nudged to help live a little longer, a bit healthier, and a whole lot happier.
So, in his memory, think of just one small thing you can do over the next year to improve your personal wellness and think about that beautiful smile this would allow both you and David to share.
Pillar two: His Humor.
We all shared with David some great laughs about ourselves, about him and about life in general. Though he looked like Geraldo, he really had the sharp and compassionate wit of Jon Stewart.
Over the coming hours, days, weeks and months, as you ponder your special relationship with David, think about the funniest thing you shared with him, remember it with a hardy laugh, and share it with someone close. His path to your heart was always through his warm and loving humor.
Pillar three: Israel and Judaism.
One of DavidŐs greatest passions was his love of Israel and the Jewish People. He had a deep understanding of the Holocaust and its impact on the world, on Am Yisroel, and the Zionist rebirth. It was simply at the core of his existence and his view of the world.
So, in his memory, have a tree planted in Israel, or support a Doc ready to volunteer there, or simply find Howard Kohr and make a contribution to his great organization.
Pillar four: Live in and for the Moment
David left us all way too early. He shared with us his special love of those tantalizing life moments of which we all simply have too few. I know how much he would have loved each of you to share his final day. The desert sun was rising, the water and air were a perfect 75 degrees, the pool was wonderfully inviting and the Badgers won by a sweet 40.
So, think about how he lived these past few years. Enjoy every sweet moment on your path and whisper to David once in a while how much you enjoyed sharing it with him.
Pillar five: His family, his friends, and each of you who were wonderful extensions of that circle.
David loved Char, Ben, Ilana, and Vivi with great passion. And that passion did not stop there. It embraced everyone here and multitudes who could not be with us today. He simply had a way to make all of us feel a little more alive every time we had the opportunity to be around him.
So, finally and most importantly, in his beloved memory, find a relative or friend in your life who you wouldnŐt ordinarily give a hug to, give that person a strong and loving embrace and tell that person ŇI Love YouÓ with all the gusto David shared with us every day.
My brother, you had the blessing of being the author of your own life. Thank you for sharing your story with me and with all of us. You will be missed but your story will live on in each of us. And, for that, we are all a little happier today than we were yesterday.
Love you BroŐ, now and forever.