We were in the altar room at The Vodou Store preparing for PantheaCon when we got the news. Docteur Cæli D’Anto is the trickster of our establishment. He’s always good for scaring me silly when I am in the stockroom, throwing things at me, or handing me something that scares the wits out of me. Strangely, my daughter was in the altar room the evening of July 14. She’s usually hiding somewhere trying to get out of work. But that night, she was there with Hellfurian Liontari and I when we got the news.
“Eddy is dead.”
Radio silence. Disbelief. I looked at him and said, “I am waiting for you to tell me that you are joking.”
To which he replied, “have you ever heard me joke about death?”
And then the shock set in. When your brain cannot reconcile reality. When something hurts you so badly, and you cannot manage the words or the rationalization to make things right. I’ve been like this since we found out, but today…today I cried. I just watched a slideshow Catherine Yronwode shared that demonstrates just who Eddy Gutiérrez was, how much he meant to so many people, and how much of an influence he will continue to be in our lives.
It is true that people will talk any old way about someone when they were alive, but when they die? Well, sometimes that is what it takes for a lot of people to appreciate someone.
I am relieved to say that I admired and liked Eddy when he was alive. That is not to say that I never disagreed or received any level of correction from him. I did, and I was glad he did so. He cared enough to tell me when I was mistaken. We are foolish to rebuff instruction.
33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.
34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.
~ Proverbs 8:33-35 King James Version (KJV) ~
Sometimes Eddy would school someone when they were incorrect, and go in hard. I actually talked to him about that. But what I can say is that Eddy was fair, he was knowledgeable, and he always took the time to help someone in need and to teach those who were willing to learn. We have lost a valuable teacher, guide, and friend. It is up to all of us to honor his memory and be responsible in our actions and deeds.
As an online community, often we have seen examples where there is no community. Back biting and bitterness seems to be the soup du jour now. But Eddy was different. He told it like it was, but he also supported legitimate practitioners with the same tenacity that he sought to expose illegitimate ones. Eddy leaves a loving legacy and huge shoes to fill.
Eddy, I have no words to describe how much you will be missed. God’s love and light to you, brother. See you on the other side.