Reflections On Our Beloved Eugene

Photo by: Michael Caplan

It is with heavy hearts that we, friends of Eugene Burger, inform you that Eugene has passed away in Chicago at the age of 78.

Eugene enjoyed a long, healthy life, but was very recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. Even so, his death today came more quickly than expected, and we are deeply shocked and saddened by his loss.

We know that in the days, weeks, and months ahead, countless things will be written and said about Eugene, and we will share more information, too. But for now, we want to tell you that Eugene embraced his situation with great clarity, humor, and peace of mind. As he said one day, “Now I am on the way to the ultimate capital M Mystery of life.”

Please join us in remembering and celebrating Eugene, a rare and wonderful person who has meant so much to us and to magicians all over the world.”

Below are some beautiful reflections from some of the faculty of the McBride Magic & Mystery School. We hope these words will help bring you all comfort.

Jeff McBride

My teacher for over 30 years and my best friend taught me how to live, grow old gracefully, and how to die with dignity. I have shared more time with this great man that any other man in my life. Every moment was a blessing and his spirit lives on in his students and his works.

Eugene’s life was brighter than 10,000 suns.

Dr. Lawrence Hass

Eugene Burger was my dear friend, mentor, collaborator, show partner, co-author, advisor, co-teacher, and constant companion in my 25-year explorations of magic. His impact on my life was immeasurable, and he was the wisest, most vital philosopher I have ever studied. Heart fully broken today but also full of deep gratitude for his extraordinary friendship.

I want to thank the thousands of you who have posted so respectfully and lovingly today, and who reached out to me personally. My heart and condolences go out to you, too, because Eugene was so beloved by so many.

Tobias Beckwith

Tobias, Eugene, Jeff, Abbi and Larry

I feel so sad that Eugene is gone, but so blessed to have been his friend. Eugene had a way of really seeing you that made us all feel better about ourselves… and better for having him as a friend. His life was a gift to all of us.

Dr. Ricardo Rosenkranz:

One night after the Full August Moon, my friend, mentor and sage found meaning, mystery, and transformation as he, peaceful, embraced a vast eternal sleep.

Simone Marron

As I contemplate the first day on this planet without Eugene, it comes to me that he has not left us. He has left a piece of himself in every one of us. As I read the comments and posts from those who grieve for him, I realize that we all have a common bond. Eugene has touched and impacted every one of our lives in a positive way. Nothing can take that away from us. He will always be with us. He was all about wisdom, love and kindness. Please remember to be kind to those around you. Eugene would have wanted it that way.

Abbi McBride

Jeff, Eugene and Abbi

Tears of grief will turn to sweet memory. These feelings will not last forever, and it will not always be as painful as it is right now. This, I know.

Mostly, I am profoundly grateful to have shared 28 years with The Master. My guru, teacher, guide and friend will never pad down the stairs in his bathrobe again to hug me good morning. I will never hear his resonant voice reciting poetry or giving “words from the dean” to the classes here. I will never be making him breakfast again, or going out to dinner, or sitting with him by the fire….

It’s the little things that break your heart open.

At the corner of my eye

From the edges of a dream

In the center of the space inside my heart

I remember…We remember.

And all that we have loved is always here, now.

All that we have loved is always here.


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