(Photo: Plain 4×6 in index card, on which the following has been written in fountain pen — “Carrie Fisher: Princess. General. Writer. Script doctor. Advocate for mental health issues. Advocate for LGBTQIA+ folks. Advocate for all who identify as female. Took no shit. She is one with the Force.”
I know that it would be doing a great disservice to Carrie Fisher to identify her as Princess Leia, or as General Organa, and as no one else.
But it was as Leia that she burst onto the scene, and it was as Leia that we first knew her — and now it turns out that it will be as Leia as we will last know her.
Carrie Fisher was a funny and abrasive and vibrant actress, it’s true. (I still giggle when I think of her making that cameo in the first Blues Brothers movie: she was pissed and she was taking no prisoners, and by the way, that was a really large gun okay.) She was a brilliant writer and script doctor. She wrote honestly about herself and her problems and her issues, and she got us all to laugh with her and understand what it was that she was going through. What it was that she was struggling with.
Carrie Fisher was an advocate. She fought for those of us who aren’t straight. She fought for women who aged, who gained weight, who fell headlong into addiction. She fought for her self-esteem and her self-regard every damned day of her life. She fought to make it easier to understand that mental illness is real and that it needs to be known, and that it needs to be treated — and seen with kindness and understanding.
Carrie Fisher didn’t give a fuck, by the way, for my opinion or yours. She had her own path to walk and it was not an easy one. But she was damned proud to walk it. She owned that path.
She died on 27 December, having succumbed to complications from the heart attack that she suffered over Christmas weekend.
She died, and we are bereft. I am bereft. She was a hero, she was a general, she was a princess, and she was a badass. I am fighting back tears, writing this, because I feel like I have lost someone important — and I never met her, I never actually crossed paths with her, but she was important to me.
To me, and to so many others all around the world.
I am devastated.
Just as he is:
And now she is gone. She has become more powerful than we could ever imagine. She is with the Force, now.
Of all the losses we have endured this year — hers is the most profound, for me.