"Learn to Love Others, Learn to be Free." Celebrating The Life of Chaz…

by | Jan 24, 2020

“Learn to love others, learn to be free.” Chaz


Flowers rest near a grave marker that reads “Gone but not forgotten, these people of King County October 2017, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Renton, Wash., following a service for 180 people who died in the county, but whose families either could not be found or could not afford a burial. The service was organized by the King County Indigent Remains program and the King County Medical Examiner’s office. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

‘So moving and healing to my soul, a peaceful feeling came over me…’ This is a powerful story of hope. But it saddens me deeply. My heart and soul reminds me that all too often homeless men and women die in the streets way to early than the rest of us.

In the case of Chaz, he died on a cold lonely pavement of a parking lot. I was so taken by this loving tribute to the life of Chaz that keeping his story alive permanently in my archives seemed so appropriate and healing. I want to share Chaz’s story with a broader audience as ‘food for the soul’ for others to see and learn from.

Chaz lived the spirit life… Chaz, and many other brothers and sisters are loving members of our local community just like the rest of us. We are all the same…

I believe we should think about how to remember the homeless population in ways that reinforce programs like the Stepping Up Initiative, designed to help the most vulnerable folks among us find a healthier and sustainable lifestyle. Most importantly to stick around with us much longer to make a difference for others.

Chaz was a mentor, who provided peer support to others who struggled to find hope for a better future. Chaz is not here anymore, but his spirit survives and thrives… As a caring and loving community we should never forget Chaz… How we care for the most vulnerable citizens in our community is a reflection of who we are…

Steve and Judy Sparks, Depoe Bay, Oregon. Click here for Steve’s author page.

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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