In Honor of Lucien Duncan

23 February 1955 - 13 August 2018 

To honor the memory and lasting contributions of Lucien Duncan we have compiled photos and remarks from his funeral service held in Port au Prince on August 21, 2018.

Funeral Oration

A beautiful soul has passed away. I can imagine the uselessness of speaking in your presence, you who knew our dear Lucien Duncan, to explain to you that he was one of the purest people we have been allowed to meet. And inevitably, when we met Lucien, we can not afford not to love him.

It is true that we have so much reason to believe that our society, the world to which we belong, is currently experiencing a dynamic of great madness by sinking into a permanent metamorphosis and vertiginous. The world is so cruel, so cynical that we stopped going to others and interested in neighbors. With Lucien, we all learned that others usually send us our own image. They cannot be ugly, mean and mediocre. Lucien taught us that we (children, peasants, neighbors, and friends) are all beings of light of goodness and love. Eternal beings like him.

For the last eight days, many of us have been living with the memory of Lucien without forcing. Our consolation is to know that Lucien is not in the category of those who are lost. As much as the disappearance of our dear Lucien is real, as much as his subtle, useful presence can never fade forever. In the great moments of doubt and anxiety generated by the decay of an entire country and its system of values, it took the life of a great man to restore confidence, to bring balance. Lucien Duncan is our inspiration, even out of his flesh, he is necessary to us and will keep this unique place that he has taken in our hearts and in our minds.

Two days ago at Kenscoff, in a conversation with youngster from the area, a motorcycle taxi driver when all is well, told me about Lucien as a public benefactor. I had never before been confronted with this concept and the fact that it came from a modest person who has never had the ambition to rub the world of popularizing great ideas. This young man remembers Lucien who, one rainy night, stopped his pickup truck to pick him up. The young man was surprised to see that Lucien insisted that he take a seat in the cockpit next to him. Grateful and embarrassed, the passenger asked Lucien if he was not afraid of him. Lucien’s answer was simple: you are my brother. And the young man understood, that night, how important it was to live in peace with oneself and with others. Lucien, he understood, was of the category of those people with whom it is good to be.

This anecdote summarizes the way of being of Lucien: a great humanist, sensitive to the distress of others.

If I am sad today, it is because the light has gone out and I need time to weigh the absence, to do without this voice which, in a register of great benevolence, could soothe and comfort. Lucien’s gift was his ability to bring comfort, warmth and light into the lives of others.

Back home for palliative care waiting for the crossing, Lucien summoned me, as he has the right, as he knows how to do, to announce the news. The eyes still dazzling, the voice posed and generous, he told me about his next disappearance. Rather, he gave me his last great lesson in life: serenity whatever happens. Lucien’s gift was that ability to give people and things the importance they deserve. Lucien could make us better.

This Sunday, he knew better than us that the end was near. Two months, two weeks after a clear diagnosis. Lucien spoke to me and took the time to listen to me, staring at me with the glow of understanding. He knew we were all going to be unhappy without him. He took precautions to prepare us to live his death with the least possible harm.

Lucien, before his disappearance, allowed us to find strength in him. That day, I knew that he transferred strength to me for many years. In silence, without making promises to him, I am committed to transmitting to others, those who will continue to claim it, this vigor, this intense light, this absolute tenderness which allows us to reach out, to raise the weakest, to protect the innocence of vulnerable children, guide us to true love. Lucien is gone, he left his flesh to become a star that will continue to illuminate our steps.

Lucien, where you are, you must know that we had the great privilege of having walked with you. Thank you for every moment you have been with us.

Gina, Vanessa, Sarah, Remi, hundreds of other people and I have been to the school of unlimited generosity, with the hand eternally strained to connect all the link of the chain of hope. I promised Lucien to dedicate a part of my life to talk about his work and his life. I will make a book with stories of children of Larmadelle, days to walk the country to meet the peasants on the pretext of hunting, the big table open to all those who are hungry in Obléon, of the need to build, stone by stone, a better world for the weak. It will be a book of tenderness and praise of beauty.

Lucien had asked me to write his funeral oration. This is my first. He had asked that it be read by Emmelie my wife who was surprised by the departure of Lucien, was away from the country and unable to return. She will blame me if I do not share her words with you. She wrote me the following: The first impression that Lucien left was that he could do everything. In practicing it, we realized that he was capable of absolute. He always had a fight to win to protect his loved ones, to open doors to his friends. He was chivalrous, reassured, had the tone to trivialize what was serious and invited to smile situations that seemed inextricable.
We lost a friend, but what would our life have been like if we had not met him? The memories that we accumulate of our passage on earth and which help us to live, to hang us would be very dull if we had not had the happiness to meet Lucien.

Thank you dear friend for being the bravest, for telling us not to cry when you suffered in your flesh. We will always refuse to admit or understand this departure which leaves us an immense sorrow, but nothing can take away from us this great love that we have and that we will keep for you. Thank you Lucien. Thank you very much.

Gina, Vanessa, Sarah, Remi, dear friends,
André Malraux said that “Death is not such a serious thing, pain, yes”. Lucien, I can confirm, had, in the face of death as much as in the face of pain, in the face of suffering, a height of view, the expectation of God, the simple acceptance of departure. A lesson of dignity and courage.

Lucien had learned so well to live that he could learn to die. Let us salute his grace, his intelligence, and his generosity, the soul of this beautiful spirit and his freedom, the lesson of love which he has given us and which he still gives us. Let’s salute Lucien Duncan. And kiss our master and yet friend.
— Jean-Euphèle Milcé
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Sarah (Lucien’s Daughter):
Thank you to everyone for being here to pay their respects to my father. I know that many of you have traveled from out of town , and all over the world to be here today and it means a lot to my family and I .
Seeing so many loving friends and relatives here is a reflection on how my father lived his life and what type of man he was.My father had the heart of child , the leadership of the King David and the Wisdom of Solomon.
For those of you who don’t know me , my name is Sarah Duncan and I’m Lucien’s youngest daughter.
My father was loved by everyone, he was an amazing and incredible father and husband. His positive attitude towards life and outgoing personality made him loved by everyone who knew him.

My father was the hardest working person that I ever met besides my mother . He made sure that we as a family had everything we needed , he provided and cared for us. No matter what the situation, my father always had a positive attitude.

We had good and bad moments but it did not stop me from loving him. Yes we fought a lot but in the end I’m still daddy’s little girl. My father was a man of his word , he has changed and saved the lives of so many people, his legacy will remain forever. I’m glad we got to spend time together, I will miss him dearly and will never forget him , his memory will live on in all of us forever.

Thank you for coming to celebrate the life of my father.