The life of Darryl Roman Burt II

Published 5:38 pm Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I didn’t know Darryl Roman Burt II.

As far as I know, I don’t know his family.

I don’t think I even know any of his friends.

What I do know is that he’s dead.

“Sunrise” — begins the multi-page program for his funeral at Amelia County High School Auditorium late last month — was Jan. 13, 1987; “Sunset” was June 12, it says.

Another victim of violence, and another victim of hate. If the date of his sunset sounds a little familiar it confirms you are a news junkie.

It was the day of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history; the day when a gunman killed 49 people and wounded 53 in the early morning hours at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

Burt was among them. He was out celebrating.

“He had just walked across the stage and got his third degree which was his Masters,” his brother Raja wrote as part of the program.  “It’s still very, very hard to believe that you’re gone, but believe that I’m gonna honor you the rest of my life and carry on your legacy.”

Added his mother, God had “allowed me to spend the most 29 years of my life as your mother.”

She went on to describe her son as “ambitious, brilliant, compassionate, detail-oriented, enlightening, friendly, Godly, helpful, independent, joyful, kind, loving, mature, noble, outgoing, persistent, quick-acting, respectful, sincere, trustworthy, unique, verbal, wise, exceptional, youthful and zealous.”

His father went on to remember Burt as a survivor who went off to Claflin University in 2005 “only returning home for visits, not needing us to provide for you anymore,” whose favorite saying was “‘I buy my own bread,’ a very respectful way of telling me, I run this, not you …”

In essence, they all said that he will always be with them.

“An unfortunate death robbed you of your destined task,” Grannie wrote. “But we are reminded of the precious memories you left behind.”

His obituary reminded me that when someone — for whatever reason — decides to commit murder, we are all the victim of his violence and hate; what they try to do is destroy our peace and take our joy.

But what the loving words of his family shows is that what the violent really do is make those who carry love have to cart two buckets instead of just one.

I hope Lunenburg doesn’t become a victim of violence like this.

Jamie C. Ruff is a staff writer for The Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch. His email address is