Farewell to a Friend (Open Letter to busbee) 

This is probably my favorite pic of you. You with Addie. Because you made a lot of us feel like she does in this photo. Somebody who is seeing what’s possible when another believes in them and helps raise them up into the light. (I also could see this as a meme: “When You Cowrite with busbee.”)  

I was recently reading about the elements of story, and how it’s really the guide character who is the strongest. Sam and Gandalf, not Frodo. Ygritte, not Jon Snow. People often credit strength to the hero character, but for most of the story the hero character is weak, full of self-doubt and wondering if they really have what it takes. But the guide character shows them a way forward. The guide helps them step up and be better, stronger. 

And that makes me think of you. I think of how you helped people write their best songs. How you helped them sing with more emotion and power than they could without you. You were playing the guide character all along. You were the strong one lifting others up. Like a father to his daughter, helping her believe she can make a basket. Like a friend to a kid from northern Minnesota, helping me believe I have something worth putting into the light. 

Thank you.

I love you.

I will never forget all you’ve done for me and my family. 

Our prayers and support are with Jess and the girls.

Rest in peace.