Michelle Fabian - A Lifelong Lesson In Humanity Found In An Awestricken Gaze

Updated: Aug 30, 2021

(**If you can, listen to this Brokedown Palace while reading this. It was written to it on repeat.)


Michelle was the beautiful, amazingly kind, classy, caring person, and I was the dirty lil' longhair partyin' fool...


A fool that she saw something else in, and took a chance on...


My friends repeatedly told me that I was in a league above my own, and never once did I ever disagree with them. They reminded me. I agreed. (Giggle.) It was a true, "Lady and the Tramp," thing for me. I was even afraid to meet her family the first time I went to her house because she was other-wordly to me, and was bringing home this scraggly stray...

I knew what I had in her, and I knew how lucky I was to have her believe in me. Even back then, as a dumb as shit, punk-ass kid, I recognized that, and I didn't take it for granted. No way! I immediately knew that Michelle was the type of person you make changes for...before I even knew that was a thing...


(**Howeverrr...she's the one that got me into lemon gin for a time, and good gawd did she ever. If you mix that right, you don't even taste it, and just start guzzling only juice as it would seem...until the light switch flips, and your legs say, "fuck it." Thanks Michelle...thanks for that. I mean, she had special powers, but no powers worked that quickly. I was still a partyin' fool who had serious game and knew how to bring the heat. Giggle.)


Raging high school parties aside (We knew how to roll back in the day.), I saw an elegance in her that was a new thing to me. Everything was new with her. She was just so kind, and sweet, and gentle, and caring, and funny...


Michelle was cloaked in a glow of elegance that I had never experienced before. She was intoxicating.


She humbled me before I knew what that even was. It's like she flipped the on-button to emotion by opening me up to pure goodness, and everything that could mean. I was in awe of her, but even in that awe, as always, I was a natural jack-ass...


...who made her laugh and smile!

Michelle Fabian was the beginning of me trying to find the best in myself, or even try to understand what that meant. I wanted to be better for her, and in so doing, it felt good inside when I started bettering myself because of it She gave that to me, and as I'll continuously say...


Before I even knew that was a thing...


She gave me so much! It's crazy what you can see in reflection when you put in the years, and have the hindsight of time in your pocket.


I don't know how to properly put it...


All the ways that she changed my life...many without me realizing it at the time...


Because of her, I found my way into art and into writing. Because of her, I found my way to the world of the Grateful Dead and Fat Cats, which opened the door to thousands of beautiful people and beautiful experiences. Because of her, I give my time to help others when I can. Because of her, I found my way to British Columbia, which opened the door to even more beautiful people and beautiful experiences. If not for her, all this epic stuff I'm trying to do right now doesn't happen. Because of her, I found my way...


Michelle Fabian was good. She was all things good. She made all things good. She made me want to be good.


I fall on my face a lot, but I'm still trying...


She also taught me how to see the good in others. It wasn't from anything she said, it was just from her being. I was so awe-stricken that I would just gaze at her. She would catch me, and I wouldn't care. I'd just tell her that I couldn't help it. In doing that, I learned what a good human was because even though I was completely blinded by captivation, I was smart enough to pay attention while I just stared in that awe of this glowing elegance. I couldn't look away, but her character, her movements, her interactions with others, her words she would speak, and the sound of her voice...it all started burning into my subconscious. (Before I knew that was a thing.) She seemed to have this shimmering glow around her that astounded me every time I looked at her.


It was like a transformation in my own mind that I never saw coming because I was so taken by her, but Michelle was rewiring everything within me...my thought, my emotion, my comprehension of what true beautiful was... My everything! I was powerless, and I gave myself to that.


Her Kung Fu was strong. It reeled in my heart and then it whupped my brain's ass all up over the place until it tapped me out into a life of trying to be a better person.


Once again...


I fall on my face a lot, but I'm still trying...


----


This is what I wrote the night I found out what was happening this past week...


I've lost so many people in my life, but I have never come close to crying like this. It feels like a piece of my soul was just ripped away...the sweetest kindest part of it.


Sitting here in a puddle of tears, all I can think is why not me instead?! Why her? It's just not right.


Michelle Fabian was one of the most beautiful people I have ever come across.


----


I've endured so much pain, tragedy and loss in my life, that it has all just kinda become synonymous with normal for me. What I am finding out now is that nothing has ever cut me this deep.


I can't say it enough, Michelle Fabian is all the best parts of who I've ever become. The person who taught me about humanity.


All the things I have done that have me constantly being told of how inspiring I can be, which has really overwhelmed me over the years, that all comes from what I learned from Michelle, the one who was gracious enough to share the nature of her humanity with me, and she did it very genuinely. I was lucky. I knew how lucky I was then, and that sentiment is still only growing today.


Everything was different after her...

She was the last one to really give a shit about me. My whole world got rocked when my body fell apart when I was still only 19. It's been a long grind. I've never even had someone who really wanted to hold my hand...since Michelle. That's not been my path, and that's fine because I've come to understand that mine is a path of pain and sacrifice for something special beyond myself (That inspiring stuff.), but she is a straight line to everything that I know about what is truly beautiful in life, because of the beautiful person she was, and I've carved my own unique path out of what she has given me.


Michelle Fabian is the true beacon of light to my life.


I was so close to seeing her again...a month away. It didn't matter how she was, I just wanted to sit with her and hold her hand. Make her laugh if I could, but just hold her hand lovingly where you don't even need words. It's all I wanted to get the chance to do...


...and now I'm weeks too late for the rest of my life, and I'm totally crushed.


As devastated as I am, I don't even really know what to feel, I just know it's different within me. Something's not right. It feels off. Out of balance. It's like my insides instinctively know, and have crumpled in on themselves.

The last time I was properly in Ontario in 2015, I showed up at her door unannounced. The expression on her face was everything I could have hoped for. This is us out on a mission to find maple butter to bring back to my friends for watching Fennario while I was gone...


One of the many things I am grateful about with Michelle, is that I took the time to properly express to her what she has meant to my life, and the rippling impact she has had, and how it is the foundation to all the impossible things I try to do with my aspirations beyond the stars. It kind of tripped her out a bit, she wasn't expecting that, but I explained it in a way that she believed me. I even enjoyed overwhelming her with that...such is my bastardness.


(**If anyone reads this, take the time to tell people what they mean to you. It takes nothing, but can mean everything. You never know if that chance will come again. I've learned this far too often. I was so excited to have another chance to do that with her, but now... )


I hate trying to put words to how special she was. I hate it. She was so much better than words, or maybe I'm still just too stupid to know what the right words are, but the feeling has never been mistakable. Michelle was a transcending force...


How do you say goodbye to the person who you can actually pinpoint to rewriting your entire life, and showing you everything that was possible with the good in humanity? I'm not ever gonna let her go, but I'm twisted up trying to figure out how to say to her what I feel now.


I think I need to let go of the words, and just dive into feeling...conjure as much love within as I can, and radiate it outward to find her in the stars watching from above. I know she'll hear me because my heart is strong, it is relentless, and regardless of any knocks it has to take to do so, it will find her wherever she is.


It doesn't feel right in any way to say this, but I now have the last words she ever said to me...


I honestly don't know what I did to deserve her...


I'm now about to step into a huge change in my life that is potentially gonna cause ripples...a lotta them for a lotta people. It just started with these two epic swims I did when I was emotionally broken in half crying in the water thinking about her when everything else was shutting down around me in the cold dark of night.


I found out the day before I first got in the water, and she left the day after I was done. It feels like she waited for me to safely get through this incredibly stupid thing before saying goodbye...such was the loving nature of her way.


I'll be carrying Michelle with me through this whole journey. I guess that's a given because I've been carrying her with me since she levelled me in awe all those years ago.


Michelle, because of you, I found my own humanity... You gave me everything. You'll never leave my heart. I will see you every time I look to the shimmering, sparkling sky at night.

Michelle and Sage - August 2015


Fare you well Michelle

I love you more than words can tell...


**I feel like I need to put this song here too. It was the one that really touched Michelle in our time. I've never forgotten that, and have mentioned it to her over the years...




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