Michael Smith died of brain cancer, March 21, 2011.
Sir Eirik Hardradi was a Knight of the Kingdom of the West, former squire of Duke Jade of Starfall, a Baron of the Court of the West, and held an Award of Arms ... From the Kingdom of An Tir, Sir Eirik was also awarded the following: Grail of the Summits - Service (Principality of the Summits), Grail of the Summits - Martial (Principality of the Summits), Goutte de Sang (Kingdom of An Tir), Gryphon's Paw (Principality of the Summits).
"Greetings to all,
I hope this missive finds you happy and well.
I've spent some time since hearing the news today, absorbing the finality of what I must now share.
Baron Sir Eirik Hardradi, modernly known as Michael Smith, passed away earlier today.
For those who knew him, and knew of his battle with brain cancer, and the toll it had taken on him and his family, may your grief be alleviated by the comfort of knowing his pain has ended. He is finally at peace.
For those who knew him, and to whom this comes as a surprise – please know that he was surrounded by love and that he knew how cherished he is, before he closed his eyes for the last time. His last few months on this earth were filled with joyous celebrations of him, and his life's achievements.
And, for those of you who did not know him… I can only say that I wish you had been given the chance to meet one of the most noble men I have ever had the privilege to call my friend. In every walk of his life, from serving our nation in protection of our freedoms, to being a loving son and brother in his family, to the time he gave to our Kingdom, he was a source of strength, joy and inspiration.
He served the West Kingdom as Palatine Baron of the Far West, was acknowledged a Court Baron immediately thereafter, held numerous offices in every place he lived (across the West, Caid and An Tir), and now has gone to Valhalla, a Western Knight, with the sword he swore his Oath upon in his hand.
Fare well, Brother. Save a seat for me in the Longhall.
-- Jade of Starfall
"Eirik faced his death bravely. He never was sad about it when we talked. He spoke of the present and the past, not the future. He took joy in what people said and did for him. This was a time when we could take care of what needed to be said to a friend, and be at peace. I miss him." -- James Greyhelm
"Michael AKA Sir Eirik Hardradi
"Michael and I shared a lot, probably about ninety percent of how we thought, felt, looked at the world and people were the same. We found in each other a camaraderie and brotherhood that transcended normal friendship. As for the other ten percent, well I love olives, and cats. Sometimes we would lock horns so bad we’d be off each others facebooks and myspaces, even be ready to start swinging, but the thing was we couldn’t stay mad. We would both calm down and realize it was silly or just agree to disagree and go on. That was one of the things that made my relationship with him so awesome. We moved beyond being normal friends. We could say the raw brutal truth to each other when necessary, and even though it hurt, it was the kind of hurt that we got from working out, fighting, either in the dojo or in armor. It’s a pain you give your friends and family that helps them grow stronger.
"Over the years we grew closer together through this forging until we had created between us a bond that would never be broken. Then I met Smitty and Sharon, when we stood together for Michael at the relay for life. As I walked that track with Sharon and we got to talk and know each other it became clear to me where Michael received some of his wit, strength and tenacity. Whenever she smiled or laughed he was there. And from the things Michael had told me about Smitty, I felt I already knew him. Michael once said a wise man told him, “we work eight hours a day so we can enjoy the other sixteen”. In Smitty I see some of Michael’s power, courage, and shrewd mind, always seeing how to improve the world around him. He smirks like him too. I say some, because in both these fine people I see, my family sees, all those qualities and more that Michael taught and passed on to everyone he knew.
"That was the thing about Michael, he was so multi faceted that even after years he could surprise us, and he was always giving those pieces of himself to everyone around him. We were blessed by being able to share many of them with him. We shared a love for gaming, running, exercise, fighting, philosophizing, (oh yeah that went on for days and days), music, mostly through my brilliant wife who sang with him while he played bass, wine, and food, we had lots of great adventures. Michael helped me rediscover giving he was always asking how are you, your family, how are things? He would listen and want to help. So many times in my life he would offer wisdom, inspiration or even go out and get the thing we needed without hesitation. That kind of giving can only be described as love.
"One of the many gifts he gave me is one I want to share with all of you. When Michael found out he was to be knighted he asked me to be his squire, and it changed me. For both of us this kind of relationship is very deep, personal, and serious. We had already known each other for years, talked about every topic all the times we hiked up table rock, played SCA, or ran miles. There wasn’t anything we hadn’t discussed, even things no one else knew, but this was a whole new level of trust we were heading in to. We talked about what I thought a knight should be and do, and what a squire should be and do. He reminded me of all the exercises he already taught me and finally it came around to us talking about his health, and what was going on with him. He said “it might take a while, I’ve put on some weight and things don’t work as good as they used to”, and I replied “it’s cool the way I see it you’re just laid up right now cause you’re hurt, everyone puts on weight while they heal. We’ll just keep working on it and when you’re healed we will train”. He said, “that’s why I picked you”.
"This is just one piece he gave me, and the one I want to share with all of you. The no quit piece. When we trained for pear blossom, when we hiked table rock, when we walked the relay, when we fought in armor, when we found out he had cancer, all of it, no quit. Never quit, just do one more he said, one more lap, one more pushup, one more step. We are going to do this, we are going to do it right, and look better than everyone else while we do it. Michael gave us all pieces of himself all the time, and they are there in us just waiting to be watered so they can blossom.
"You are gone home
"The pain comes to me
"No more sharing my life with you
"No more giving my love to you
"I only have your memory
"You taught me courage
"You taught me strength
"You showed me a way to live
"I carry you with me
"While you’re gone I will pass on, that which you have given me
"Your legacy will remain
"A squire’s promise"
-- Nichollas Keene, Sir Eirik's Squire. I read this at his memorial service
Also by Nichollas:
Shirts all hung up
Books on the shelf
Your things are here
But they do not help
It’s nice to have
Something you loved
But it’s just a thing
It cannot bring
What would I give to have you here
I think of it because your things are near
What do they mean, what is they’re value
They are just things, I’d rather have you
Just as you wish, they will be given and used
Your legacy, it will be continued
Not by the things that now will help others
But by the stories we tell, about our brother
"It is a sad time for his family, but the rest of us also. It is one of those times in life when I wish I would have spent more time with him. Sounds corny, but I took more from this relationship than I gave. He, and the family, always had kind words for his caregivers, of whom many became friends." -- Emmett Wortman
"It was my great honor to come to know this good man on the day of his knighting, and to serve as the herald for His Majesty Jade during that momentous occasion. To say I met a noble soul would be an understatement. Despite the obvious ravages that his illness had taken on his body, his smile brightened the room, and his heart was as big as any I had ever met. He touched me greatly, and inspired me to be a better person. Truly, the West and the Known World have lost a warrior, a champion, and a knight - I mourn his loss. "
-- Syele [von der Rosen], the Songbird
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