I’m still getting to grips with my shock and my news over his death.

When I first saw the news, I thought it was a hoax.

How can it be that an artist who burns so brightly and with such energy can be taken by by this devastating, wasting disease? And how on earth did he create that body of work while undergoing what was no doubt a gruelling treatment regime for colon cancer?

It feels scary and sad to see a young person struck down by cancer. But part of why it feels so upsetting is the sheer shock of the news. He was an actor seemingly at the top of his game – and now he’s gone. It’s incredible that he was able to kept his illness secret during his lifetime. I can’t imagine how heavy that burden must have felt at times.

I came across a quote recently that fame requires an ability to carry other people’s projections. I feel that Chadwick Boseman had that quality – but with something more. There was a reason he played so many icons – and iconoclasts. He had the strength and charisma to carry the dreams and desires of so many, but without ever letting anyone else tell him who he was. His integrity was always visible, and something I deeply admired.

What always struck me most when looking at his work and the way that he talked about it was his seriousness of purpose as a person and as an artist – and the impact he made is stunning, particularly in comparison to his years on this earth.

Rest In Power. Those words have never felt more appropriate.

Photo by David Hogg on Flickr Commons