I don’t think I have words to soothe an aching heart, but I do have a message to the dear, beautiful soul we all come together to pay tribute to and honor.
Maurice (I never thought of you as Maurice, by the way—but I like it either way), we never met in life or probably would have met. But your light, your sense of humor, that indefinable quality that shone so brightly within you and touched so many lives. That, in whatever form, lives on in the work you did; the hearts you touched; and the blessed guidance you shared with friends, coworkers, and fans alike.
I only recently rediscovered Finding Me and Jared’s pages and was more than saddened; maybe just a tiny bit heartbroken to know your laughter had moved on into the Beyond. Be blessed my man and keep on shining, we can only do so much but we will do our best to share the love, acceptance, joy, and laughter you brought to so many. You’ve done the most any of us can hope for: showed love to a neighbor, comforted and consoled a friend, and spoken truth where hearts too fragile and too scarred were silent. I love what you represented and I will carry your memory to warm me and give me courage, to be free with my love, voice, and tears and not let doubt or fear of judgment or insecurity keep me from being my most authentic and passionate self.
You had such a great impact in leading by example and I can’t possibly cover it all in one message, but I will always be so grateful for all I took from you. Courage to be myself and not just accept, but celebrate the differences and things people find fault with, to show myself and others the unconditional love we all cry out for, to trust in my own merit and worth, and most of all—that the deepest scars can fuel the brightest smiles. The generosity of spirit and kindness you carried with you is still a beacon in an often too dark world and I still watch and re-watch clips and videos to remind myself when I get down or start to think I would rather be blind, than to face the stark reality. But you didn’t shy away from life and I will keep on trying to follow that example.
A boy who is becaming a man
And hopes to do you proud