I am returning from my brother’s memorial service today. It was a joyous celebration of who he was. Yes, there were tears. Yes, it was hard. Yes, I wish he were still here with me.


But I took joy in knowing that he would have loved the party and all the people “getting down” and being happy … because of him. Because that is who he was: a man who spread joy and love and balance wherever he went.


Kids that he had mentored years ago were there with stories of how he had changed their lives and brought them into their own power. Friends and associates came from far and wide to honor him and his legacy of love. I was proud to be his sister. I thought I would share with you the words I spoke at his service. Because you, too, are my family. And I love you all.


“My brother was a dichotomy. He earned his ministerial degree while shooting pictures for Playboy. He honored God and his faith while he could kill a good bottle of Scotch with his family and friends. He marched with Martin Luther King and championed the right to choose–everything–but never fully embraced his own power of creation in his life. He was all these things. But mostly, he was my brother.


Throughout our lives, we took turns supporting each other, championing each other, protecting each other, expanding each other, and sharing the most unconditional love I have ever experienced in my life. During the years of poverty and struggles with an alcoholic father, he embraced me with his wisdom, his guidance and his love to get me through. When I ventured to live my dream as an actress, he supported me both with encouragement and money. I paid him back both. When my husband died, his faith, love, and guidance kept me strong.


And then came the years I could be some of those things for him: the listener, the unconditional love, the forever steadfast friend and confidant. Throughout our lives, we shared many dreams, and secrets, desires and faith. My brother touched this world with great love and joy. He was my best friend, and he is with me every day.”


I will miss him forever, and yet I feel him with me every moment. If you, too, have lost someone you love, take a moment now to call them by your side. Be still and know that “They Are,” and spend a moment of connection and love with them. Their energy never leaves, and their love is forever.