The Brilliance of Posterity: Philip Seymour Hoffman

As a rule, I don’t post unless I have something I truly want heard. I just feel that the internet is filled with a barrage of information and opinions that I’d rather write on something I feel strongly about, instead of writing just to write.

I won’t go into how Mr. Hoffman passed on or on his illustrious film career; there are people far more talented and knowledgeable than I to do just that. Rather, I was struck by the people who started commenting on how we should not martyr people who had fallen under the spell of drugs. That they knew what the consequences were and brought it upon themselves.

It is quite easy to say but so difficult to know. I feel that every life and every death counts. For something, for as little as it may seem, it counts. Hoffman’s family are probably asking God, “Why?” And there is no apparent answer but I know that somewhere, somehow, his death has set off a chain of events that has changed someone’s life forever.

I write this, coming back from a wake. I sat there with my friend, as he told us about his boyfriend’s last moments in the hospital.

His voice was steady until they rolled the coffin past us.

He turned his head away.

Only days before, he had seen wedding bells and lime green bridesmaid dresses. Lime green, he explained, because he had to be the belle of the ball.

Now, there was nothing left of those dreams. What has replaced them were sadness and anger.

I do not have answers. I cannot take away the pain from neither the Hoffmans nor my friend. But deep within, I feel that those two passings have changed me in some way. There is an intricate dance that I have taken a part in. A choreography that I made up on the spot but knew by heart. I would like to think that because I was distracted and mulling over this post and rather walked to the store today instead of taking the bus, someone sat in the seat I would have sat in and maybe that someone ended up sitting next to the love of their life.

And today, for the first time, I decided to clean the last medal I won from a 70.3 Ironman. It was caking with humidity. It was before I had heard of the death of my friend’s boyfriend and strangely, it was the medal for the event that the boyfriend offered to come and cheer me on at.

I would like to think that Mr. Hoffman and my friend’s boyfriend have become a part of the universe, a part of this mad, angry, crazy yet lovely conglomeration of beauty, fused into a plane of color and emotion. I hope with all my heart that they send enough love into the world so that somewhere, the seed of an answer is planted and grows.

In the meanwhile, tears and pillows meet.

We can only sit quietly. And if he needs it, extend a hand and a bit of the brilliance created by our friendship.

——————————————————————————

The last interview I saw with Philip Seymour Hoffman, as interviewed by Craig Ferguson.

My finisher's medal from the Cancun 70.3 Ironman on September 19, 2010.

My finisher’s medal from the 70.3 Ironman Cancun, held on September 19, 2010.

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