An Honest Man: Jay Lake

Regrettably, Jay Lake has passed away.

My sincerest condolences to his friends and family. What a mighty struggle this lion put forth in his efforts to stay alive as long as he could for his loved ones. His courage was higher than Everest.

My views of Jay Lake were mostly through his website. When I started writing, he and I had some communication, but mostly I was reading his incredibly honest, intimate blog of what it was like to have cancer. I thought he was a powerful human being, to be able to share his best and worst moments with others, both in his situation and out. He gave a name and a face to cancer, and that was, I think, his point in some ways. That, and he was a human being, speaking to us about a human condition.

Jay’s blog is honest. Now that he is gone, we do not only have the legacy of his books, but we also have the journal of a man still living in the face of incredible adversity, right up to when he couldn’t. Jay took us with him for every step of his cancer, the good, the bad, the ugly, with candor.

I went to Paradise Lost 3 in part to meet Jay. I had bronchitis that weekend, and ended up isolating myself from him as much as I could, in spite of his insistence that he was not immuno-compromised at the time. So I heard him speak, and he was pleasant. We met at World Fantasy in 2009 as well, and I wished him luck on his next set of treatments at World Con in 2012. He knew who I was, which astounded.

Loss is hard, so hard, and Jay is missed. I have missed his posts for some time now, and I am very sorry that they have ended. What has Jay taught me? He’s the man who wrote a short story a week to improve his craft. His author story is one of persistence and practice and patience. He lived his life an honest man who held nothing back, and part of his legacy is the truth he spoke about his disease.

If you are interested in donating to Jay’s Memorial Fund, here’s that information.

Clayton Memorial Medical Fund
P.O. Box 5703
Portland, Oregon 97228

Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

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