Sunday, November 05, 2006

What do you say about a man who died?

He was a gay man and a proud father. He was an exciting performer and a homebody, devoted to his garden and his dogs. He had a cynical, bitchy wit and was one of the most welcoming and generous people I've ever known. He was a control freak and had a careening messiness about him. He survived so much and was carried away after less than 72 hours of illness.

I lost a friend of about 10 years on Monday. I wasn't intending to write a eulogy, but I did want to record some thoughts.

Sometimes small and marginalised communities are very much like families. Sometimes community members who have a huge influence on us can be taken for granted. Sometimes personal qualities can drive us insane but common ground like a sense of justice keeps us connected. There were times i didn't see him for a year but now the loss feels enormous and just about everything I'm involved with is full of memories.

I hate that it takes something this awful to remind me that it is within a person's contradictions that their amazing beauty is located. i hate that it takes a death to really make me appreciate someone's contributions to my life and my community. I should have known his big spirit and big personality would leave such emptiness.

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