So it’s been a bit of a rough week here at headquarters.
On Friday, my grandmother, Ann Kontos, passed away suddenly at the age of 90. She died suddenly, without pain, surrounded by family. You can read her obituary here. In 2012, she took a very bad fall on her driveway and we thought we would lose her then. But she pulled through, bounced back, and every day from then on was a gift from her. I hope I appreciated them enough. Nothing mattered more to my grandmother than family, particularly her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews, of which there is a mighty profusion. This weekend, I’ve met a whole busload of relations that I’ve only heard of in her stories, and seen through pictures on her refrigerator. It has been a sorrowful experience letting Grandma go, but it has left me much to think on the nature of family, and love, which filled her long and remarkable life.
Which brings me to Sunday night, when messages began spreading around the podcasting community, very much a second family to me. If you have not heard elsewhere, PG Holyfield, the author of Murder at Avedon Hill and proprietor of Specficmedia.com is in the last stage of a sudden and brief fight with terminal cancer. His friends Chooch and Viv have set up a Go Fund Me drive to help his family defray costs and support his two young daughters. You can find it at gofundme.com/pgfund. PG is a pillar of the podcast fiction community, and an amazingly nice guy. He has been instrumental, more than he could possibly know, in my creative work, and probably the work of many others as well. Go give anything you can. I got to see PG very briefly at Balticon in May. I feel blessed that I got to see him again, even if it was just a brief exchange in a hotel hallway. The unfairness of it all just staggers me.
But like my grandmother, PG surrounded himself with astounding people. In his case, not flesh-and-blood relations, but friends and artists and fellow geeks. This morning at the funeral, my brother said this in his eulogy. “She was a woman who took her gifts, and multiplied them.” This would be just as apt a description for PG. He took his love and he shared it with the world. They were both beacons. The world was a brighter place for their being in it. It is going to be that much darker without them.
But the best we can do is follow their example. Please, give generously to the fund. And gather your family, both biological and non, tell them you love them. They know, but tell them anyway. And share with them. Share stories, share jokes, share joy. Their light is going out of the world, and we need to keep it shining.