On De Scene: Celebrating the life of...

>> Monday, June 15, 2009

Last Friday 12th June. I went to Sheldon Benjamin's house, not for his wake yuh know. But I went to celebrate his birthday. You see, his family had promised him a big birthday bram & his death did not stop those plans. I love that. It was nice. Family & friends gathered to celebrate. We chatted, laughed, ate, & drank, some even shaking de lil leg to Sheldon's music in the background courtesy DJs Stone & Neil Bernard-LOL, Producer/drummer Neil turn DJ!

Today June 15th, we said goodbye to him in a more formal sedated event, his funeral. It was held at the Good Shepherd Anglican Church, Freeling Street, Tunapuna. 3pm. When I got there the church was full, though not overflowing as I had expected. Chairs, tents, & screens were set up to the sides & back of the church to accommodate the massive turn out however, there was no need for it. Could T&T have already forgotten their son? Hmmm.

The service was lovely. The eulogy was given by Sheldon's brother Garvin & he gave us an insight into a much younger Sheldon. He had the congregation laughing at some of Sheldon's lil boy antics. The Reverend gave a short but stirring sermon. He preached the way I like my funeral sermons. He spoke to US who are still alive. He spoke to us artistes especially & begged us not to let Sheldon's death be in vain. He encouraged us to pay tribute by producing songs with positive messages. He said Sheldon did his part & now we must do ours.

3 Canal sang one of their songs produced by Sheldon, "Giants". The lyrics were appropriate. Next was Russell Leonce. Me eh shame to tel alyuh daiz when ah put on meh shades. I felt a familiar tingle in my heart & eyes. Buh ah didn feel shame cause when ah glance around, ah realize Russell's song "Troubles won’t last" had the same effect on most people. I saw various degrees of “trying to wipe meh eyes witout anyone seeing”, smile. But we're too silly because that’s what a funeral is about, to say farewell till we meet again & this can entail a lil tear shedding.

Destra Garcia sang her version of "To God be the Glory". I held my breath for that one because I know Miss D can be very emotional. She held her own though & only did a lil stumble/fumble at the very end so not too dramatic.

Well the farewell is over, for some of us, but what now? How do we proceed? A few of us have started discussing a tribute song. I will keep you posted. But really, what next? Are we gonna just continue our lives as usual, as though Sheldon's death was just a bump in the road? Are we gonna take Reverend's word to heart & check within, try to be more responsible, better people?

So young, gone too soon, at least his music will live on are just a few of the phrases I've been hearing about Sheldon over the past few days. Maybe we should ask ourselves "what if it were me, have I done enough, I'm I doing enough with the role God has given me?" Do we even know what our role is? I suspect (HOPE) a lot of self searching will commence. I'm waiting to see the outcome...

Bye Socanites,

Oceans may divide us but music CAN bring us together,


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