For Yuan and Leon
I was moved to write about the passing of my friend Leon's wife, Yuan. They met while Leon was her Couchsurfing guest in China, and reconnected at Burning Man four years ago. They've been inseparable since. Their love was the kind that fits soul to soul. Yuan was diagnosed with Stage IV women's cancer months after their engagement and passed away on Friday, March 17th.
To Yuan: We met many times, including on your wedding day, but we weren't close friends. Still, I learned many things about you. Can you feel me writing about you? Is your ear buzzing in the space where you are?
I felt your openness the way a close friend would feel, trusted with your soul, seen for you are, understood with graciousness and light. Powerful forces were at play in your innocence, gentleness, and openness to the world. And there was tough strength in your desire to say yes to adventure.
When you learned you had limited time left here, you didn't waste it. You demanded and gave only positive messages; it was good for you and it was good for us. You opened your doors for friends to help you, to help them, and help them help one another. Even though it was very hard and you were very sick - it was your nature.
You helped Leon keep the New York Dangerous Burning Man camp active and growing year-round. Together, you founded the Church of Good Deeds, which you worked to incorporate as an official religion in New York State. You invited friends to help get your family to the U.S. from China, and to plan you a fabulous wedding - and showed us the magic that grows when you give people leeway to happily surprise you.
Death doesn't claim bad people. Cancer takes the best. It took the happiest people I knew and loved, still love, will always love and who brought more light to the world than it could handle.
You invited people around you to live. You showed us that happiness, positivity, love and radiance win - not over death, but in life and I hope what comes after.
You didn't have time for cynicism when you wanted to live fully. We don't have time for that. We have time for each other, for connections, for the small pleasures and the grand ones, for our biggest dreams, for this moment right now.
I think you would want me to share this because it comes from the heart.
Thank you for being, thanks for finding each other, and for sharing your light.