...nothing here is promised, not one day... Lin-Manuel Miranda

I'm so lucky. That was so painful!
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I spent several hours on Friday in the company of a special collections librarian, discussing what of Stu's work will be donated to the Eaton Collection at UC Riverside. (Hi, JJ, not going to talk about you without permission here.)

I had braced myself for a tough day and as a result spent yesterday just sleeping and not coping. That felt sort of odd since everything about Stu's work brings me joy and makes me smile. Showing odd bits and pieces - a pin, a name badge, that wonderful hysterically funny light switch panel - to someone who never knew him and is only a little familiar with his work is fun. I am so not ready to be organized, even after this long, having gone through that many boxes and envelopes and binders and folders and pads and books of his work. I now have seven (soon to be eight) files of "Stu Art" on the laptop. I hadn't even looked at file #7 and I should have done so ages ago as it's older stuff that I probably did not know.

But I was okay - in the moment - if you will. It was so fine hearing about the enthusiasm for Stu's work and creativity, about the different kinds of influences and value this will bring to the greater special collection. I learned a lot and oh, it made me happy.

I was okay, until about two hours ago. And suddenly, no shit there I was, wanting to scream and cry and throw up. I couldn't breathe, crumpling from the exact same things that had brought me joy. That he is gone, that I cannot tell him this stuff oh my gods the "Stu Shiffman Collection". He would not have believed it, to hear what wonders he had brought. He usually, often, knew his art and writing were good. Like any creative person I have ever known, he doubted. And to hear someone talk about the influences on him, to hear what his work and memories could bring. It tore me apart. How do you not miss someone who brought laughter into your life every day? How do you not remember, ten,twenty, a hundred little jokes? I knew it was coming and yet it practically knocked me to my knees, the power of my missing Stu. That all this - decades of creativity and humor, erudition and silliness, sheer brilliance and total goofiness which had been mine to share. I know it's good that the stuff will be preserved. Right now,this minute, 4 am on Sunday, two weeks after what would have been Stu's 62nd birthday, that sure as shit does not help.

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