Friday, August 12, 2011

a huge loss that has come way too soon.

The last few days I have been riding out an onslaught of emotional extremes...from shock to deep sorrow to bitter regret. And there are many others who are probably feeling similar emotions over the loss of Wendy Babcock.

On Wednesday in the wee hours I got a call from a friend to give me the news that had died. At first I thought that it was just a twisted joke or a hoax. Then I spoke with others who had spoken to the police and coroner, which both confirmed her death. A small part of me still hoped that it wasn't real. Then after the media started, I had to accept the truth.

Police have said that foul play is not suspected. For this I am relieved. This doesn't change the fact that her death is a tremendous and terrible loss for those of us who loved her on a personal level, or who were inspired by her and her work. For me it is both.

I can't seem to be able to muster the words that would be worthy to commemorate her or to display why so many loved her and were inspired by her. She sure enjoyed having her picture taken though, and there are plenty that I think depict these reasons.

She was a riot- Once she started her antics, even those in the foulest of moods would be in a laughing fit.

{from Wendy's Facebook}

Her winsome smile- Many will say that Wendy always wore a smile, and I think it was to a large degree to hide the sadness she felt just underneath the surface. But she loved to make others feel welcome and at ease, and one would feel that way once she flashed her pretty smile.

{from Wendy's Facebook}

Her warm heart- Even if she didn't have a penny to her name, Wendy would find a way to help someone she saw in need. And even though she was often going through a hard time herself, she would almost always be there if you needed someone to talk to.

{from Wendy's Facebook}

Her incredible strength- I think most can't really fathom what it is like to face the hardships that were piled onto Wendy, yet she kept on fighting.

Her tireless advocacy- Wendy lived, ate, and breathed for social justice. She was especially dedicated to harm reduction and advocating for those with mental health issues, the homeless, drug users, sex workers, and reforming the child welfare system. She kept a fire lit under our asses to help us keep up with her.

{photo by John Bonnar}

Her outspokenness- She had no issues with being public and expressing her views, some of which were unpopular. She put herself out there, regardless of how it may have effected her personal life. Even in more low key situations, Wendy would take the time to try and educate folks and challenge ignorance and intolerance wherever she saw it.

{photo by John Bonnar}

Here are some beautiful writings by others:

RIP Wendy Babcock

Wendy Babcock: Advocate, activist, mother and friend

Remembering and Celebrating Wendy Babcock

Wendy Babcock turned pain to inspiration

Rest well my sister...til we meet again.



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pixiebiz said...

Really sorry to hear about your friend. Hope you're doin' ok. [internet hug]

perma_culture said...

I am so sorry for your loss! She seemed like a real beautiful person!

Elizabeth S said...

This is so sad. I am sorry she is no longer around and I hope that she is in a better place.

Hertha said...

You seemed to really love Wendy and I can see why. I am sorry for your loss. May you both be at peace. *hugs*

nefaeria said...

Thanks everyone. Your kind words mean a lot. :)