In loving memory of my dearest Ricky:

It was the summer of 1998 and I had just moved back home to Los Angeles from Santa Barbara. As I still needed to take a statistics class in order to complete my degrees, I had enrolled at Santa Monica College. Walking to my car after the first class, I was surprised to hear someone calling to get my attention. I turned to look and there was this boy sitting on his bike in the shadows of a nearby tree smiling widely at me. He informed me that we were in the same class and told me that his name was Rik—which I could remember by thinking of it as “Erik” without the “air.”

Every class period after that, he would walk with me to the cafeteria for our class break. He told me about how he had grown up in St. Louis with his mom, spending summers in California with his dad, and had then traveled through Europe for 6 months after high school. He had read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People as he traveled and had been inspired to change his life. Thus, upon his return to the U.S., he moved to California to attend SMC in order to transfer to UCLA, and started going by “Rik” instead of “Erik.”

I was drawn to his jovial personality and he became my boyfriend. For the next two years I got to know, and grow with, this beautiful charming boy. He took me to SRF and I taught him how to meditate. We went to Tahoe for the winter, where we shared a car and worked together at two different ski resorts teaching kids to ski. He was a natural at snow boarding and every day we would read aloud to each other from writings such as The Tibetan Book of the Living and Dying; Zen Mind, Beginner Mind; and those of Gandhi and Ken Keyes Jr.. We meditated, delved into our souls, skied and snowboarded, and philosophized. It was one of the happiest times of our lives. Rik was one of the most honest and truth-seeking people I have ever known. He always looked critically at himself and thought about how to improve and become an even better person. I remember how he used to blast classical music in his car and breathe it in through every pore of his body because he felt it was good for his soul (a practice he picked up from his parents). And, in our reading, we discovered the valuable art of breathing together so as to spiritually attune to one another.

Rik had this wonderful way of getting into other people’s worlds with them and joining their senses of humor with his own. We had so much fun just hanging out and being silly together. He did handstands, played his guitar, and played lovingly with my animals. He even tried his hand at poetry and jewelry making and was quite good. We shared a love for the beach and the outdoors in general. He was an excellent skateboarder, mountain biker, and surfer, and he even picked up rock climbing. Rik always sought to experience life and to understand God’s purpose for him in it.

Rik and I had many more adventures together during the rest of our relationship and then became very close friends in the years that followed. I was so proud of him when he earned his kriya yoga at the Self Realization Fellowship and then again when he was accepted into the Peace Corps. A year and a half later when I heard that he had had a seizure, I immediately called him in the Philippines. We stayed in very close touch throughout his battle with brain cancer. I watched Rik, the man, meet the most difficult challenge God had ever handed him with amazing courage and strength. And when I spent the night in the hospital with him before his last set of surgeries, we talked once again, as we had so many times before, about life and death. I will always carry Rik with me in my heart and in my soul, and I know that one day we will meet again. Rik touched the lives of all who knew him and I feel honored and blessed to have been so close to this beautiful and wonderful being.

Kelley Falconer
August 17, 2004


PHOTOS

 

 

 


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Lake Tahoe: Winter 1998-99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Halloween 1998

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Halloween 1999

 

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New Year's Eve 2000

 

 

 

 

 

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Indonesia: Summer 2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



For more on Rik's life please visit:
rikweiss.com