I am starting this writing as tears flow down my face, grief-stricken for surviving my friend Saige. I had only met her in October, very near three months to the day today. Though I have only known her briefly, she opened up something deep within me–a place inside myself from which all my current grief for the news of her sudden and unexpected passing, received just earlier today, is pouring out.
When I walked into a room and saw Saige smiling at me, my barely hidden struggle with social anxiety was quelled. I found her presence calming. She was atypically easy to talk to, effortlessly put a smile on my face, and made me feel at ease. But she also made me feel like I was among My People–the tribe I have been looking for all my life.
I share my history with My People, who are the only people who really understand the need we all have, to find that tribe and become an active part in it. Saige was one of us. I share my politics with My People, and we teach and share with each other to become better people–to become prepared to take part in a better world. Saige was the person who embodied the change she most hoped to see in the world.
She and I shared a common identity, and a common history forged in a common past. Saige and I shared the walk of reinventing our Selves. She and I united and empowered each other.
Most of this world wasn’t ready for Saige. But to those of us who really knew her–Our People–her life was a gift. I am stronger today with her memory in my heart, than I believe I could have been without her.