This week, I was profoundly honoured to conduct a ceremony celebrating the incredible life of Stephen Evans, a true intellectual titan and a staunch atheist. The gathering was at the serene Garden of Thoughts, where friends, family, and admirers came together to pay homage to a man whose legacy was etched in the pursuit of knowledge and humanism.
Marcus had specifically requested that his farewell be devoid of any religious connotations, and focus instead on the tangible impact of one’s journey through life. The atmosphere was imbued with respect and admiration for a mind that never ceased to question, challenge, and inspire.
The ceremony commenced with an atmospheric piece of music composed by Marcus himself, an ode to the cosmos which he often cited as his ‘spiritual’ refuge. A galaxy of stars was projected overhead as if to remind us of the infinite possibilities that exist.
In the eulogies, friends and colleagues spoke of Marcus as a mentor, a guide, and a fearless advocate of rationality. His daughter recounted tales of stargazing nights, where Marcus would explain the wonders of the universe, sowing the seeds of curiosity.
I shared a poignant quote by Carl Sagan, “For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love”, which resonated with Marcus’ worldview. The audience was then invited to pen their thoughts and reflections on cards that were later attached to a ‘Tree of Knowledge’, a symbol of the enduring influence Marcus had on countless minds.
As the sun began to set, painting the sky in shades of burnt amber, a final recording of Marcus’s voice resonated through the air – his message of hope for mankind to pursue knowledge, foster empathy, and create bonds that transcend our finite existence.
In embracing the essence of Marcus’s journey, we were reminded that in every ending there is a legacy that ripples through the cosmos.