The last couple days I’ve been working on something pretty different – a memorial book for a dear friend of mine who passed away a few weeks ago, just as a little gift to thank his family for sharing him with us. Larry was a special friend – a very famous and well-known activist who had been profiled by Oprah and CNN and you name it. But he was also just such a nice dear person who played a big role in both Matt and I’s lives. Here is the website of the organization he founded if you want to learn more about him.
I do feel like I knew Larry, but putting together these 66 pages (single spaced) of recollections from hundreds of people from around the world has been disorienting and inspiring and heartbreaking and – oh my gosh. It’s incredible the number of people who Larry influenced and the ways he influenced them.
From one person – saying, “I never met you, but your on-line video inspired to fundraise against AIDS” to another saying, “Thank you for calling me after my husband passed.” Larry was a truly epic, heroic figure; I’m sure many people remember him hollering into a megaphone in front of thousands at protests, but his life was filled with tiny brush strokes of thoughtful kindnesses.
A lot of people are commenting that Larry is inspiring them to be great and become better people – which is so lovely to hear. I think right now I am just feeling exhausted by proxy for all the hundreds of years of love and kindness and action that Larry crammed into his 66.
I like the idea of being inspired by Larry however, and am generally in favor of becoming a better person, at least in theory… My favorite memories of Larry will always be our times sitting around and telling jokes, because he was really funny. As a person who adores humor, there is a special thrill when you make a person whose sense of humor you really admire laugh out loud – I loved making Larry laugh. So for now, I think I’m going to work on laughing more.