“Your joy is sorrow unmasked…”

“Your joy is sorrow unmasked…

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”  ~ Kahlil Gibran

This past week included the graduation of 4 young women I know from the University of Arizona, including my daughter Elizabeth’s best friend, who was also a creative writing major, and Elizabeth would have been graduating along with her, if she were alive.  I attended her graduation with such pride and joy for her, an amazing and brilliant woman, grateful I could witness her commencement, and at the same time so deeply sad that Elizabeth was not there as well.  In an amazing reading I had with a medium, (who contacts and shares messages from those in spirit) Elizabeth had communicated that she had “graduated” in the spirit world, and is completely joyful there.  She even showed him herself with a diploma, which had been important to her, so that brought me some comfort.

On the heels of that tumbled Mother’s Day, my first without Elizabeth present.  Again, it is filled with such a combination of emotion – gratitude for my daughter Julianna, whose 20th birthday it was that same day and sorrow that she was far away in New York; gratitude for being the mother forever to both of my inspiring, beautiful and amazing daughters, and to my own mother, for all the gifts I’ve received from her, including being born; and greater sorrow that Elizabeth will never again be with my on Mother’s Day, not in her physical form…

Lucia Maya, Elizabeth Blue

Elizabeth Blue and Lucia Maya ~ April, 2012


So I’ve been allowing this deep well of grief and mourning to bubble to the surface, and flow through. I’m aware that when I’m in it, I’m not clear enough to write, not clear enough to read through and select Elizabeth’s next pieces of writing that I so want to share here, and have to trust the process, trust the timing, not rushing or pushing, as much as I’d like to at times!  This beautiful quote by Kahlil Gibran spoke to me and resonates deep in my being, and so I hope it speaks to you as well.

Eulogy by Elizabeth’s best friend: Samantha Salazar

This eulogy was written by Samantha Salazar, Elizabeth’s best friend for the last 4 years of her life.  They lived together for a time, then far apart for a year while Elizabeth was in Seattle – I know she missed Samantha deeply during that time, and finally in studio apartments next door to each other.   As you will see, they were soul mates, sharing many gifts beyond words, and sharing a common gift with words as well!

This brings another view into who Elizabeth was, and the beauty of her best friend and their friendship:

“First, I’d like to thank Lucia, Greg, Julianna and Jane for being so kind to me and truly appreciating the friendship Elizabeth and I had. I’m inextricably tied to all of you now, and very grateful to be so.

Trying to figure out what to say today has been one of the most draining and difficult things I’ve ever had to do and what I realized is that these mechanisms of my body, mind and language are too ill-equipped to portray with justice the gravity of the loss that I feel.

Elizabeth Blue was my soul mate. When I met her, I was blown away by the bizarre and beautiful world that was wrapped up in this tiny whimsical creature. Everything about Elizabeth was unique. Everything about Elizabeth was complex. She wasn’t only beautiful, she was so captivatingly beautiful that no eye could avoid her, and once she had hooked you, you were blown away by a beauty which was at once confident, sultry, innocent, inviting, and biting. I’ve always described her as a siren of sorts, I used to tell friends, “wait until you meet my girl Elizabeth Blue, you’ll fall in love with her, everyone does.” And I was never proven wrong. We have all been in love with Elizabeth Blue.

Elizabeth Beautiful. Elizabeth Bizarre. She had stories which grabbed you by the throat and choked you until tears ran from your eyes. She loved to dance and was infamous for a move she patented which we called the worm. She would write never–ending canons about CATS and sing them all day long. She was a muse to photographers and painters. She wrote poetry and developed complex character voices which reflected the subject matter to perform them with. She drew hilariously uncanny images of human-nosed alien cats, the queen of hearts, and bear shaped balloons. She listened to Angela Davis speeches as she cleaned house and walked around town. She read constantly about social justice and feminism. She loved the Black Panthers. She wanted a white kitten to name Lil Elizabeth. She cherished her own cat Blue over most anything else in life, and he her.

She was the most loyal and dedicated friend I or anyone could fathom. We spent countless hours milling over ideas for our project of creating a network of sisterhood amongst Tucson’s women, a group we appropriately called the Grown Ass Women, or GAW. The tenets of GAW were that we understood it’s hard to be a female bodied individual in today’s society and through sharing experiences, providing emotional support and friendship, curbing girl-on-girl envy and hatred, we can make it a little easier and safer. We wanted to show girls it’s okay to speak out, you must be confident, and each and every one of us is sickening and strong. Although we never got to take GAW to the heights we imagined, one of the most interesting things about this experience for me in particular has been the number of times I have heard from friends and strangers alike that they mourn my loss with me because when they would see she and I out and about, they saw all of the things we wanted to portray, that our friendship inspired them through our confidence, loyalty, and love.  I know this would make her so happy to know.

I can’t talk about all of the lessons and character which my tiny wonder imbued within me, it would take as much time as we were friends. But there is one thing I’d like to share with everyone today. Within our friendship, we always tried to make a practice of turning negatives into positives, and that is what I would like to try to do right now. Know this, the passing of Elizabeth Blue is a tragedy no doubt, but there are some wonderful things to come of it. There has been a phenomena occurring since Elizabeth went into hospice which some of my friends and I have talked about and referred to as “The EB Effect;” 2012 has been by far and away, one of the most difficult years for the people I know. But as of recently, I have seen a change in the people who surrounded Elizabeth and loved her and cared for her. For some, it had been a surge of creativity, a revitalization of their artistic identity.  Some have written songs about her. For others, it has been the security of finding a home, or a job, or deciding to go to school, the opportunity to go on tour or star in plays and movies.  Some of my friends have found companionship with very special people.  And I have come out of this situation with unshakeable confidence and urgency to keep reaching out to people, keep being strong for people, and to never hold back any amount of love. Even though Elizabeth has left this earth, I know she left knowing with a certainty that I loved her, that she was the best friend I’ve ever had. Our whole friendship, we dedicated so much energy to letting the other know how much we loved each other, there were no words unspoken, no feelings left to express. And I hope it provides some comfort to you to know, that Elizabeth being the celestial, other-worldly, alien goddess that she was, seemed to know her whole life that something like this would happen to her. She was born an old soul and she was too big of a person to be contained in any human body. She documented herself through countless journals, short stories, voice recordings, videos, poems, planners, and pictures.  Before she went into the hospital for surgery, she confessed stories to me which she had never told anyone, made me a painting which I had been asking for for years, and left a note on my door in the morning just to say hello. She was at peace when I visited her thereafter, and had the depth of the universe in her eyes. I lost the person that understood me the most, and the person I understood the best and I do know this: Elizabeth WOULD want you to cry, because it’s flattering. But don’t let those tears only be of loss, let them be tears of enlightenment and appreciation and inspiration. Let them water whatever arid planes lie within your soul and carry on.” ~ Samantha Salazar