The following tribute to Sarhad Karageuzian, who passed away on September 19, 2021, was offered at his funeral by his cousin Palig Mouradian and is being published in his memory and in honor of his 40th day remembrance (“karasoonk”), which will be held at St. Stephen’s Armenian Apostolic Church on Sunday, October 24th.
Sarhad never held back on love or kindness. He was intentional, genuine and entirely present. He exemplified authenticity because you could tell he never had to search for himself. His presence grounded you and gave you permission to be yourself, unapologetically.
The name Sarhad means to break boundaries and to transgress borders. One that could not be more fitting. Sarhad operated well beyond the bounds of human compassion and affection. His devotion disregarded all limits.
He was an expert in the people he loved. He liked using that to his advantage. Riling you up, pressing your buttons, pinching you—but always with warmth—making sure to never leave a mark.
He saw his own reflection in the world around him, which meant he had a hard time seeing any bad in others. He never assumed the worst because there was no suspicion in him. Mechanics loved him. He found a way to take responsibility for his family and his friends while never taking life too seriously. He relished in his own existence.
Sarhad would show up. We didn’t look up to him just because he was the tallest. You could count on him. I remember when he carried his childhood dog Cookie to the park when she could no longer walk, so that she could see it one last time. Or when he assembled a 20-foot above-ground pool in less than two days just because he misunderstood just what kind of party he was hosting. He didn’t do any of this for a preconceived idea of what was “good.” He was blind to his own value and his own rarity because he was simply following his own nature. He was true love, and therefore was a magnet for everyone. If you look around, you’ll see how different we all who have gathered here are. Sarhad brought us all together.
This is what makes the idea of not seeing him again so heartbreaking, but we are lucky because Sarhad made it really easy for us to recognize him.
Here are some of the places you can find him:
In the verses of a heghapokhagan song
In the ringing of a Zildjian
By a beautifully warm fire in the woods
The room you save for your mother’s cooking
The sound the soccer ball makes when it hits the net
The laughter of his nieces
The love amongst his friends and their unbelievable stories
The moments his family shares together
The monikers of Esh and Oryort
In the kisses dogs insist on planting, especially Beauty’s
In fleeting, innocent anger
In giving people the benefit of the doubt
In harmless pranks
In smuggling basturma over the Canadian border
In driving two hours for a good pint of ice cream
In being there for others
And most importantly,
In the simple privilege of loving each other *gyum*.