Needless to say, both services were utterly heartbreaking, as Pastor Kenneth Cherry remembered the young men, 21 and 20, who were shot and killed in Evanston. A third young man was seriously injured in the shooting.
Here's a short description of the services.
At Demarcus' funeral, his siblings cried as they read the many messages of love from family members. Over and over, loved ones remembered his smile, his laugh, his talent for music, his smarts, and his love of family. Later, Pastor Cherry gave Demarcus' friends time to speak.
"Demarcus was one of my best friends," said one young man, looking at a cardboard cutout of Demarcus standing tall and dressed in Black. "I met him at Curt's Cafe. Right off the bat we just started hitting it off. It was his attitude--just the way he was comin', you know? We really communicated with each other. I'm gonna miss him. I can't say anything else."
At Jose's funeral this morning, Pastor Cherry's voice was hoarse. He spoke as Jose's coffin lay between a 'J' and a skateboard made of flowers. Jose was a well-known skateboarder around Evanston.
"These are young lives. People that had potential," he told those gathered. "I'm tired of showing up in this space for people who haven't even begun to live," he said.
Pastor Cherry, who has known Jose most of his life, said he was tired of preaching eulogies for people who haven't even had time to develop a life to eulogize.
"I'm tired of these situations. I'm tired. I'm so frustrated. I'm so exhausted," he said.
Addressing Jose's mom Debbie Caluya, who has lost all three of her sons to gun violence, Pastor Cherry said, "We've been here three times. I know you're tired. And it's just so unfair that we live in such a way that we bring this kind of grief on one mother. It's so unfair that we live so reckless that we cause a family to suffer like this."
Mayor-elect Daniel Biss attended both services.
Demarcus' funeral service.
Jose's funeral service.
With Covid-19 restrictions, only family members were allowed at the services. I attended the beginning of Demarcus' service, but watched the rest and watched Jose's service on YouTube as well.