I honestly didn’t intend to go to Joel Brown’s wake. The frequency of memorials has taken it’s toll. I know my memories will always revive his image and voice every time I pass the Dogtooth coffee shop or visit with mutual friends.

I found that his friend-since-childhood didn’t have a ride to the wake and I had to get him there. That’s just how I’m wired. I knew I would regret it if I didn’t.

Joel was a guy that talked to you like you were his best friend. Story after story emerged about how he touched people in his community with his simple wisdom, endearing broken English, and tenacious friendship. Everybody he met was his best friend.

Joel changed the lives of the people around him in a profound and positive way. I got a sense that the loss was not only to friends and family, but the community at large.

I walked a way in tears of joy at the beauty of a life well shared and a renewed validation of works.

Thank You Joel Brown