candlelight memorial in honor of Craig

Having walked in the candlelight memorial and attended the funeral services, I’m left with one feeling that outweighs sadness. It’s inspiration. Physically seeing the number of people that Craig touched was incredible. The director of the funeral home in Frankiln, Massachusetts said that Craig’s service was possibly the largest turn-out he’d seen in his 40 years in the business. His friends and family filled every room and stood in the doorway while those able to speak shared stories and vignettes of Craig’s all-too-short life. And well over a hundred people joined in the candlelight memorial in Brooklyn to show their love and support.

What happened was a tragedy–senseless and unfair. But it doesn’t have to be all for naught. I will stumble away from this situation with the conviction that I can be a better person and that I too can move a great number of people. And it’s not as if Craig was sacrificing his personal enjoyment or breaking his back for the good of humanity. He simply respected others, did what he thought a good person should do and always looked for the positive spin on things. Craig was good at life and I’m going to do what I can to pick up where he left off.

Here is how we remembered him last Sunday. The displays of love and emotion were among the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

memorial slideshow


Here is a slideshow celebrating the later years of Craig’s life set to music he’d enjoy.

Craig Murphey was larger than life, with a heart of gold. (love, lex)

There was never a dull moment with Craig:
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“It’s all fun and games…”
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“… until someone gets hurt.”
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“Then it’s just fun…”
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“… unless you make a game out of it.”
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An evening on the couch would be exciting with Craig

It’s blazing hot in here! (love, lyssa)


When I first met Craig, he looked like this. We tried to go to this bar on Essex Street but we left after we found out they only served beer, wine, and something called Mad Dog, which the bartender seemed very confident about mixing cocktails with.


We spent a lot of time that year in bars on the Lower East Side. We would sit in a booth at Darkroom for hours and hours.


When we got bored, Craig would be there to entertain us with freakish tricks, like this one, which he called “Being Born”.


And not much had changed in those 4 years, except maybe the condition of his t-shirts.


We moved into a railroad apartment in Bushwick in 2005.


Some very amazing times were had in that place, and some trying times were had as well. Craig was there for me through all of it.


The picture on his phone is of Samuel, a little boy I used to babysit for. We ran into Craig on the street one day and I made Craig hold Samuel. It was the first time he had held a baby, and he was terrified! He loved it too though, I think.


When our friend Lauren lived here, she was just a few blocks away, so Craig and I would go to her house and hang out all the time.


Craig really loved holding cats for some reason. Here he is with Lauren’s cat Ozzy.


Her house was so warm and cozy we would spend hours at a time there.


The night before Lauren went to Hawaii, we had a going away party for her at Savalas. One of the greatest nights of funny photographs that Craig has ever had, I think.


The last one is my favorite. Everyone has the most sincere expressions on their faces.


He was an overwhelming source of comfort for me.


Even when he was being creepy about it. And boy, was he ever capable of being creepy!


Real, real, creepy.


Wherever he went, he made it fun and funny. He was able to make a conversation out of nothing, and could talk as openly, often too openly, to strangers as he could to his close friends.


When I got the idea that I wanted a cat, he came with me to the shelter one day after brunch. That’s when we met Moustache, and fell in love with her.


Somehow, even in his sleep, he was the life of the party. And we all know how easily he could fall asleep ANYWHERE.


One of the best combinations ever: Free photobooth AND free sparks. We took over the photobooth and made so many funny memories that night.


New Years Eve, 2007. My sister was visiting. We all dressed up and went to Samurai for dinner. Helen’s boobs blew everyone away. We took the subway way out to a party in Bushwick where it became BLAZING hot inside. Craig got into so many pictures with an assortment of the best quality Craig faces.


After this subway ride we proceeded to walk, like 40 miles in the pouring rain to another party. My sister was barely able to walk and Craig left early to make sure she got home. He practically carried her most of the way. He always made sure people were safe and comfortable.


There are just so many great nights to remember. This one was last winter. Dan Hart impressed us all with his juggling skills. Helen put beer caps in her eyes, and Craig did his party dance in the background.


I’d give anything to walk into the living room and see him in the doorway, making one of the cats uncomfortable or holding it up to do pull-ups.


On the first nice day of Spring this year, we all went to the park. Everyone played May I for like 10 years (ugh.)and we lay on the grass and laughed and smiled and talked. So happy to be out in the warming air.


Even in the middle of the day when a friend came over to visit, Craig made things more interesting.


He simply made life better just by being himself. He made everything fun.


He made every morning a comedic event.


This party at the Horrible House rooftop was an interesting one. Some of the neighbors asked Kelsey to draw chalk flames on a wall so they could pretend to “jump through them” for some photographs. Kelsey took a dance break, and Craig naturally joined in. Apparently some neighbor nudity followed, but I am unsure of the details.


He was the most joyful human I have ever known.


And oh so pretty!


4th of July this year. Before the new pants. I have no idea what is going on in this photo. Two 4th’s previously Craig changed his pants while on the roof at Dobbin. I am fairly sure he and Dan Hart also exchanged multiple articles of clothing that night.


Oh M Shanghai. Our home away from home. Craig was here almost every day “eviscerating dumplings” as I believe he described it.


I think he was probably the biggest consumer of liquids and condiments of anyone I have ever known. Beer, coke zero, diet root beer, tequila, ketchup, barbecue sauce, and the list goes on and on. I remember once when I was cleaning out the refrigerator I said, “Craig, why do you have 3 containers of barbecue sauce? Who needs 3 things of barbecue sauce?” to which he replied earnestly, “Well they are all different flavors and I use different flavors at different times.”
That’s how I will remember Craig. The biggest character with the best disposition and hugest heart. I feel like half of myself is gone. Never again will I walk out of my bedroom in the morning to the sight of you asleep on the couch, fully clothed, with a slew of half-eaten snacks on the coffee table and the TV on to the Sci Fi Channel. Never again will I hear your booming laugh or your squeaky giggle as you tell one of the many amazing stories of your life.


Last night we watched Big Fish, a few of us laying around the living room. I wanted to quote the last few lines of the ‘film’, as you’d call it.

“A man tells his stories so many times that he becomes the stories. They live on after him… and in that way, he becomes immortal.”

I love you so much. My glowy glowy Craigworm.

hug life (love, bryan)

I have no idea how to eulogize anyone, especially close friend that I saw everyday. For now I’ll just put up some of my favorite pictures of Craig and try to update with more stories and memories later. Shit’s pretty rough. He was really loved.


The first time he went to use this pullup bar he ripped it out of the door jam and broke his nose. I’m sure it was awful but he loved telling that story.


He really liked tofudogs and he kinda reminded me of one so I took this picture.


He gave the cats hell.


Craig and Lyssa were my first new friends in New York.


Usually aroused.


A fine artist.


This was a potential tattoo.


This was an actual tattoo.


The infamous Hug Life.


He was working on a sock rather than a sleeve.


This is one of many Craig/Greg kiss photos.


They had something special.


The TNMT hat was mine but Craig breathed a whole new life into it. I feel like he’s been doing that his whole life.


Snacks every night.


This is probably how I’ll remember Craig best.


I love that guy.

If you’re interested in more digital memories of Craig you can check his Myspace, his fairly recent photo blog LOOK IT!, and Williamsboard. I’ve also heard that someone is putting together a craigmurphey.com with photos and stories and a place to donate to the anti-hunger coalition that he worked for.