My friend P.G. Holyfield passed away this week. He went from well to sick in a matter of days. It was way too fast and way too shocking for me. There were patches of time since I heard the news on Sunday that I’ve been okay. Patches of time where I laughed and felt like the world was all right. Then, it hit me again.
I’m not down a dark well, but I do feel like someone kind of floating through the week. Grief is weird like that, you never quite know how it’ll hit you. You never really want to know. Stack on top of it an exhausting weekend before at GenCon and catching a cold and I think the right word to describe how I am is miserable.
I’ve felt this way before. Way too many times and many of those times were because of cancer. The first time I remember feeling it was when my grandmother Shirley died. She was a beautiful, strong woman and cancer took her slowly. My grandma Bettie went more quickly, but still that numb, floating feeling hit me hard. In both cases it felt wrong that the world was going along like normal around me. It felt like I should scream at people to stop being so happy. It wasn’t out of desperation or fear, but just wanting the world to adjust to the process I was going through. It often felt like stepping out of darkness into the sunlight. You squint and it takes awhile to adjust.
I always have hope though. I can’t imagine not. My belief in another life, a better life, keeps me going. Celebration of a life well lived should always have, at it’s core, hope.
P.G. Holyfield and I met through podcasting back in 2006. I call it the golden age of podcasting where no one felt like anything but a friend. It was a community-centric hobby. It was a time where we supported one another and cared about each other. It was magical. P.G. actually joined Buffy Between the Lines in season 2 and helped us out. Then, a naive person I was, I wrote a DragonCon script that called for Scott Sigler. P.G. happily stepped in when Sigler was not available. I had just listened to the audio again before I left for GenCon, just days before I learned about his illness.
I’ve met P.G. twice, both times at DragonCon. He was always so excited. He was the kind of guy who made you feel like you were important. Nothing of the “fame” of being an author or big in podcasting ever changed him. He was great.
When P.G. asked me to write a short story for him, I felt like the prettiest girl at the ball. I can’t tell you the impact that had on me. It had been awhile since I had published anything and writing that story sparked me alive again. It was one of the fastest pieces I’ve ever written and it reminded me why I loved writing. P.G. gave that to me.
And now he’s gone, and I’m sad, but there are so many good days to remember. So many hours of podcasts to listen to. So much good.
Farewell, P.G. and thank you.