I wasn’t going to write about Bill this round, feeling a little uncomfortable after someone I like a lot, questioned our relationship, and what I’ve chosen to reveal.
But then it didn’t feel right to let the day pass without my normal reflection.
When Bill died of pancreatic cancer, we weren’t together, so I had no idea he was mortally ill until a week before he passed.
You can imagine my shock.
He had left me suddenly, the same way he spun into my life…fast and furious, like a meteor crashing in your yard, never saying why.
I assumed it was another girl, and it was…her name was Cancer.
I can remember every inch of the day, my dear friend, Chris Mazzilli, called to tell me, Hicks was dying. “They’re about to make a public announcement,” he said, “and I wanted you to hear it from me.”
“What…excuse me…Bill …dying?”
I think it was the only time I ever felt my whole being leave my body.
That was Monday morning, spending the rest of the week in a vigil, waiting…like everyone else who loved him…just waiting to get that call that came early the following Sunday from his best friend, Kevin, in Austin.
Bill Hicks was no more.
It took years before I could openly speak of him without sobbing. And it wasn’t until I started writing about him, that my grief took flight.
There’s no more debris to plow though veiled in a scrim of sadness.
His light, oh so bright, shines upon me every day of my life.
I feel him, he’s here, we just can’t see him the way he was.
But how often do I feel a blast of heat, down and dirty…here and gone, knowing it’s him tooling by, tipping his hat to me.
William Melvin Hicks died on this day, February 26, 1994.
He was 32.