Eulogy for Levi Felix: You Get to Choose What Kind of Adult You Want to Be
This moment is all we got and that is awesome!
This is the eulogy I gave for my friend Levi Felix at his funeral service on January 15, 2017 in Briones, California. Levi passed away from brain cancer on January 11, at the age of 32. He was the co-founder of Digital Detox and director of Camp Grounded: Summer Camp For Adults.
Beautiful humans of Levi’s life!
Today I want to tell you a story about my friend.
It was summer 2015, in Austin, Texas and our last Camp Grounded for the season had just ended. It was hot. Like 110 degrees hot. We were exhausted.
And I was laid out on the grass in the shade, icing my foot, with Levi, who was icing his ankle.
Now, I was icing my foot because it got stepped on in a human whirlpool at our Camp pool party, hosted by Lunch con Queso and Ladybug.
Levi was icing his ankle because he sprained it a couple weeks earlier at Outside Lands, when he was running, NOT SKIPPING, as fast as he could to catch Elton John. Sometimes even Levi couldn’t follow his own advice to hurry up and slow down — I mean, he had to make it to the Elton John show!
Of course, Levi’s sprained ankle didn’t stop him from hobbling around all weekend with a cast on, using his cane to tell people what to do. It was fitting for Levi to have a cane at Camp — he could really act out the role of Camp Director: “Someone get me some more ice and a KIND bar! Move that canteen sign 3-inches to the left! Tell Seltzy not to play “Me & Julio” again! How come Dad has my walkie-talkie?!”
Levi was looking through his cardboard Inbox, and he was showing me all the notes campers had written him over the weekend. There were probably 75 notes in his Inbox. One was from a camper who said that three weeks before Camp, he had thought about taking his own life, but Camp made him decide he was going to keep going. Another was from a camper who said that for the first time in his life, he felt comfortable as a gay man around other straight men. Another was from a camper who said Camp was the single most powerful experience of her life, and that she felt finally ready to quit her job she hated and spend her life doing something she cared about.
There were countless notes like these and Fidget read every single one. That was the last Camp Fidget ever went to — and I’ll always remember him, laid back with ice on his ankle, cane by his side, reading those notes of gratitude.
To see the impact Levi had in his 32 years on Planet Earth is profound. HE FOREVER CHANGED THE LIVES OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE.
And I’m really sad because he was going to change so many more lives. SO MANY. Whenever we hung, out, Levi would tell me about his dreams for the future.
He dreamed of finishing his book, The Humanifesto, and traveling the world to speak about disconnecting from technology.
He dreamed of becoming a full-time professor, Professor Fidget Wigglesworth, an academic that would teach and write and philosophize every single day about how to get more humans to be more present.
He dreamed of having a family and growing old with Brooke.
He loved Brooke so much.
Once, he told me he dreamed of escaping the stress of running Camp and moving to a beautiful farm somewhere in the redwoods where he could just listen to records all day with Brooke.
The year before he got cancer, he frequently told me of his dream to buy land in northern California and find a permanent home for Camp. He said it would be perfect — “all of our friends would be able to host workshops and events there,” he said, “Prospex and ProwProw could come by to make music, Smiley: you could write there, and we could have Camp whenever we wanted — or we could just relax and look up at the trees.”
Above all else, Levi’s dreams taught me that you don’t have to live life the way the world tells you to. You get to choose.
You get to choose what kind of adult you want to be.
You get to create the world you want to live in.
You can decide how much time you spend looking at a screen.
You can create a summer camp for adults.
You can make (two new) friends anytime you go anywhere.
You can skip, instead of run.
You can wear pajamas to breakfast.
You can paint your toenails when you’re dying, and then your whole family can paint their toenails to match.
You can wear your friend’s favorite spandex tights at their funeral, under your suit.
You can make bringing people together the true currency of life.
You can focus on what actually matters: playing with your friends.
Remember: life is your adventure and you get to choose what kind of adult you want to be!
You get to choose!
I would like to close by reading something Levi wrote on his 32nd birthday, just six months ago.
I’M ALIVE, PUSHING FORWARD AND DOING WELL!!
32 years ago TODAY I was BORN. As of right now, I have never felt MORE ALIVE.
I would be lying if I said that the last 5 months have been easy. However, with all your support and love, I continue pushing forward with a smile. I often even forget that I have Cancer — that’s my favorite part of it all. (There it is, the “C” word). Truly though, in moments when I might start to feel down, I find myself with people who lift me up, make me laugh and give me a body to squeeze — or they wrap their arms around me when I’m being stubborn, take me to the beach, and we put sand dollars on our eyes. It’s pretty amazing to have such close friends, a tight family and a wide community that shows so much love! I don’t know what I’d do without each one of you!!
There is so much more I’d like to share. So much…
But more than anything, I want you to close your eyes and take that deep breath you remember from childhood. Think about those who are, were and have been closest to you. Open your eyes and call that family member, that long-long friend, that person who you’ve lost touch with, a sibling you’ve been meaning to call. This is my gift back to you, as we are all a gift to each other. Day by day, breath by breath, enjoy each and every moment you have. This moment is all we got and that is awesome!
Happy Birthday To All Of Us!
So much love.
-Levi aka Fidget
Levi’s family would love for you to make a donation in Levi’s name to Camp Grounded or the American Brain Tumor Association. Celebrate Levi’s life by coming to Camp Grounded this summer, tickets go on sale January 24, see you in the woods!
❤ SHARE LEVI’S STORY WITH YOUR FRIENDS ❤