Celebrating Emily

From Abby Sims:

Emily passed away early in the morning on Sunday February 3rd. She was at home and Toby (the dog) and I were both with her. Like almost all of this undertaking, the active dying portion followed the best possible trajectory considering the eventual outcome. Emily was only confined to her bed for 6 days, she didn’t experience pain, she was able to communicate her wishes (on Saturday she asked me if she could have “some water untainted by racism.” Unfortunately, due to Nestlé’s business practices, the situation in Flint, and Standing Rock, I was unable to honor that request. She had to settle for racist water like the rest of us.), give feedback (“Sometimes you can be grumpy-looking. When you wrinkle your brow like that, it makes you grumpy looking.”), and make jokes (Emmy: Abby! Come here! I want to show you something! Me: You want to show me? Emmy: Of course I want a Tony! What do you think I am?! A dummy?!) The thing Emily said most often over the last 2 ½ years was, “How lucky am I? I don’t know how I got to be so lucky.” I don’t know if that will make anyone feel any better. It does me.

I love Emily very much and will miss her incredibly. She taught me how to feel competent and made me feel safe and loved. She gave me a life that I wouldn’t have had, a life full of enchantment, profundity (This word spellchecked to profanity and I have to say that that is also true.), and delight. All of our time together was miraculous and I’m pretty sure many of you could say the same.

Her friends and her audience made her life full and she reveled in time spent with them. I mean, she reveled in everything, but especially other people. I can’t tell you how much joy you all brought to her and how meaningful these relationships were. She held so many people in her heart. I am so grateful for that because the community of support we had during this process was invaluable to both of us. Thank you for being our friends and by that I mean our family.

For those of you wondering, I promised Emmy I would get her movie out there. And I will. In addition to fulfilling her final wish, it will give me a chance to spend another year with her, if that makes sense. To that end, we are now taking donations from anyone who wishes to make sure Emily’s vision, her movie, is finalized.

I was just reminded of this episode of Drinking and Thinking. I like it because it’s a chance to hear Emily talking about her life rather than her death. Here are some other favorites:

TED Radio Hour: How Do We Make Peace With Death When It's Imminent?

Brainpickings: How to Befriend the Universe: Philosopher and Comedian Emily Levine on the Art of Meeting Reality on Its Own Terms

Emily Levine reads "On the Fifth Day" by Jane Hirshfield

TED2018: How I Made Friends with Reality

TED2002: A Theory of Everything

Remembrances: TED and Maria Popova on her site Brainpickings