“Our hearts beat over empty spaces.”

After spending most of today thinking about it, I now come to the computer and a blank page to type out my thoughts about a friend of mine.  Now, in a pivotal moment, the words which have come easily to me for most of my waking life are failing me.  Yesterday, a dear friend of mine, William Brown, passed away.  He is survived by his husband, his sister, family, and many, many friends.

It was during Bill’s final months that his husband took over his deviantART journal, and in absence of the right things to say, I will fill this space with his husband’s words:

Because eloquence escapes me. Because many things do.

Early on January 11, my beautiful husband lost his battle with brain cancer. He lay in my arms above our cliffs and slept.

Thank you for your support and kindness through this very difficult time. I know that it kept him fighting, and he fought to the last. In his final hours, his spirit simply proved stronger than his body. We who loved him should not be surprised by this. Everyone he touched can understand what a unique and powerful soul he was.

I apologise for the delay in sending out this information, but we have been devastated by his loss. Bill’s capacity for unconditional love and unmovable faith are things not easily replaced. As Nicole says, “Our hearts beat over empty spaces.”

Should you so wish, Bill asked that any and all condolences be sent in the form of a charitable donation to the Philadelphia AIDS Walk. It was an event that held great significance and which he would often say took measures and provided assistance to prolong his incredible life.

Do not share in our grief because Bill did not wish any of us to be sad. I am not certain he understood how difficult this would be, or how great his loss, but his family is trying to honour our promise to find a reason to think of him and smile. We believe, perhaps with all of you, that it might be fine to smile through our tears for a while.

I love you as you loved him, as I loved him, and I thank you.

B. Michael Collins

Godspeed, soul-brother. Heaven is a better place for having you. So was home.

I cannot properly express to you the sadness I’m feeling right now, and a counterweight to this sorrow is the knowledge that he is finally at peace.  The world has lost a devoted friend, brilliant mind, a fantastic editor and writer, and a kind soul with a huge heart.  He was a soul who inspired others.  I have no doubt his memory will continue to do so.

There’s not much else to say here, other than that I will miss you, Bill.  You were, and are, a dear friend to me, and I look forward to seeing you again some day, wherever that may be.  You inspired me to reach for heights greater than I thought possible.  You taught me how to be a better writer.  You showed me, a man of little faith, that there are still miracles to be found in this ocean of chaos, and for that I cannot thank you enough.

Good night, my friend.