I got to know you only days before your left us.
Though I was a guest at your cottage on the Cape that weekend, we had never met. I walked into your home a complete and total stranger. I thought that the only reason I was there was to provide my friend Ernesto a ride from NYC, his only way reconnect with his long time friend now living in Provincetown for the summer. Ernesto was a good friend and my rock. He kept me standing after my lovers’ death just eight months earlier. It meant the world to him to get to see you again, after all your friendship started long before and very far away. Back then Ernesto was working the runways of Paris and you studying at The Royal College of Music In London. You had extended him the invitation to visit, and offered the use of your cottage; I was just the cab driver, so I thought.
The weekend was wonderful. It was the four of us, including Tim but no matter how the day’s activity started, you and I would shortly end up lost in some deep conversation. We spoke in depth of family, of life, and loss, but mostly family. The other two gazed at us quizzically, sometimes annoyed that we were way too serious, after all, it was Labor Day weekend, the last hurray of summer.
I learned much of your family, your love for them, the pride and happiness that you had for them. I never thought that I would ever meet them, much less so soon.
As I looked at them across the room at your funeral, I realized that perhaps I had words, more importantly, your words to share with them.
I hope I did right by you. I can’t say I was entirely comfortable, nor confident, a complete and total stranger, about to intrude on a family in mourning.
They of course were lovely and kind. They listened with great interest, and for just a moment, it felt that there was a ray of light in their world of intense sadness.
Be well Graham, where you are we will eventually follow,
So do what you seem to have always done,
Lead, not follow.
With your great passion and broad strokes
Cut a path for us so we might know the way.