*My friend Taylor’s funeral was today. I prepared a speech to say at his funeral, but with a lack of time, I was unable to do so. Here’s the speech in its entirety so I may share my final thoughts of a dear, dear friend. * For the past week, I racked my brain for hours on end trying to find a word that could sum up Taylor and what he meant to me. I spoke to friends who were also shocked at his passing, recalling our times with him, stories of his great character and his importance to us. I think I finally came up with the proper word- Taylor Thomas Nudo was nothing short of fantastical. Ever since I met Taylor in the sixth grade, I always knew he was unique- from the way he befriended so many different people or the way he spent an entire day at school asking everyone if he had a chin. He was my inspiration to become a writer, pushing me since middle school to continue writing scripts, even after we went to separate schools. My greatest joy was to finish a script, rushing to read it to him in person or over the phone- his laughter being the biggest satisfaction and approval I could receive from anyone. What I wouldn’t give to just hear his cackle of laughter, to hear him say “That’s AWESOME!” over the phone, just one last time. He was larger than life, one of those charismatic individuals that no one could speak ill of. Yesterday, I heard Tara describe Taylor perfectly- he was a ball of energy. Every time I was able to see him perform live someplace, Taylor’s energy never changed, his hair flying all over the place as his fingers moved across the neck of the guitar. He was that ball of energy on and off the stage, always flashing that impish smile wherever he went. In writing this speech, I researched eulogies on the internet, scouring for examples and ideas to make this speech memorable, to find the best quotation or passage that could encapsulate Taylor. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any that could do him justice. All I can leave all of you with are my memories of him. A classmate who supported me through the worst times of my life. A musician who I believed was a guitar god. My greatest inspiration as a writer. One of my dearest friends. I’ll miss you, Tay. You were nothing short of fantastical.