"So sad to me. Humor is LIFE--- even in the face of death! Wit is salve... laughter, a balm against the most brutal tear. RIP, David Rakoff!"
- Marcinho Savant
And so another, hugely important, voice is taken from the pantheon of singularity. Far too soon. But there has to be a reason that we are made to await, herald and fall in love with a voice for the age which exceeds so many who had arrived before.
So he was Canadian (not that there is anything wrong with that!)! In fact, I have a great deal of respect for ALMOST ALL the Canadians I've ever known!).
So how was David Rakoff different? There was the inexorable quality of a stand-up comedian, class clown, sane lunatic and underestimated guffaw inducer! He found and mastered a way of taking the most unseemly or chilling of matters and made them bearable--- and funnily so.
He struck me as so genuine, candid and honorable, that I eagerly and instantly offered my compassion and respect to him whenever I heard or saw him work.
His age, at death, is so staggeringly young--- to a middle-aged goat such as this writer (we are but two years apart). But it is in and through his youthful bravado, a similarly liberated youth to the one I enjoyed, that he has the courage to find a decubitus ulcer, shine an exam light on it, study it and then jab his brutally witty thumb directly into it--- lancing it starkly, and so incredibly deeply, that the universe can see his interpretation, diagnosis and treatment at its essence!
And yet I do not weep for his personal end. Not really. I weep more for the people who never got to hear his laughter, at his own pain. I am sad for the people who will no longer have a kind of a hero and inspiration to which to turn when they feel most helpless, hopeless and lost.
I suspect he had so very much more to say and to share, and--- as the draw would pronounce--- not one card played his way on the river. The best for which we can hope in his absence, is to gather up all his brilliant thoughts in whatever media they may currently exist, and form a bit of a shrine to his words and musings!
It would be a double loss, indeed, to permit his works and his openness--- his brilliance and his courage in the light of his circumstance--- to go the way of Atlantis.
While I have a genuine empathy for all people, there are few whose strength and vulnerability and bravery truly challenge a desire fore betterment and boundless courage in me. Especially those who smile through it all and banish sadness and negativity from their circles.
I pray that his family, especially his brother and sister, Ruth and Simon, have all the strength and faith to find comfort in the belief that everything happens with a purpose.
While no one can replace him, someone will, most assuredly, eventually, step up to assume his position at the oar.