When I received the news of your passing yesterday morning, I was sad. Selfishly, I was sad for me. You not being here means I will not be able to enjoy your deep wisdom and your sarcastic wit. I will miss your honest assessments of ideas I “ran past you” – even the one where you laughed and said “That’s a horrible idea!” I loved the way you allowed me to be who I was even though you probably thought I was silly and entitled. I respected the gentle way you would guide me to be a better activist without demeaning me and how you instructed me how to be a better ally without condemning me. I am grateful that you allowed me to share my emotional pain over a difficult personal circumstance without judging me for my choice or giving me advise that was inappropriate. You were a champion of personal autonomy – in fact you were the one who told me what that was and you explained it in a way that made me understand how important it was to respect another persons choice even when you might disagree with them.
When I received the news of your passing yesterday morning, I was not surprised. I knew that you were in both physical and emotional pain and I wish that I had more to offer you than solidarity. I know you found true love this past year and that you were experiencing joy on the highest level that was possible at the time. I know you faced uncertainty in the future. I know that you protected your love and your community by the way that you lived your life on your own terms and I respect that you chose this path…also on your own terms.
You will be missed. You will be remembered. You will be honored. And your life will be celebrated as one that made a difference.