Stay afraid. But do it anyway.

So…Carrie Fisher has gone to the great beyond.  And I’m sad.  But also happy.

Let me explain.

Carrie Fisher wrote honestly about her battles with mental illness and inspired me to do the same.  She was strange and funny and kookie and weird and broken and fascinating and I was always following her.  Literally and figuratively.

When I’m on book tour I spend a lot of time with drivers who take me from airports to bookstores to hotels to new cities.  They usually work for the book companies and they see all sorts of interesting people in their work so I always ask them, “Who is the best person you’ve ever driven?” and “Who is the worst?”  I always promise not to share the worst but frankly there should be an entire book written by drivers who have seen entirely too much of the worst of people (because it is fascinating) but my favorite stories are always the ones about the best people.  I’ve probably asked over 100 drivers who their favorite person they spent time with was and so far only a single person has been mentioned more than once…Carrie Fisher.  She’s a favorite of a lot of them and every time I hear her name I settle back for a wonderful and strange tale.  Each driver had a different story.  Some were entertained by her wild personality and crazy tales.  Some were taken on bewildering and wonderful adventures with her pointing the way to some strange place she wanted them both to go.  Some found themselves revealing personal and difficult stories to her because she really wanted to know and didn’t have a filter when it came to asking questions.  One driver told me she asked him to bring sacks and sacks of barbecue to her hotel room at midnight and then wouldn’t let him leave until he’d visited with her and the other people she’d picked up along the way…hotel maids, taxi drivers, old friends.  Then when she’d had enough she wasn’t afraid to say, “DONE.  I need sleep now.  Everyone out.”

The Carrie Fisher stories were my favorite.  And every time I heard them I’d lean back onto the same seat she’d ridden in and think about how one day I’d tell her what she meant to me.  I never did, and now it’s too late.  But I know she knew how much she touched others, and maybe she heard stories about me from those same drivers…about the odd girl with the dead animals on the covers of her books who loved hearing the Carrie Fisher stories because Carrie was always blazing a trail that made it so much easier to follow and speak out.  She never lost her battle with mental illness.  She lived a life.  A good one.  Flawed and honest and inspiring and filled with mistakes and lessons learned and shared.

That phrase.  “Blazing a trail.”  In real life it referred to pioneers marking paths with “blazes”, notches and arrows carved on trees to point the way.  But in my head it’s different.  Carrie Fisher blazed a trail by setting fire to everything blocking her path, to all the debris and overgrowth that stood in her way, leaving open ground behind her that made those of us following behind her so much easier.  She blazed and burned and lit the way for others.  She lived fully and touched many.

She burned brightly and I’m so happy I was able to see her fire….even if it was from a distance.

Image via fusion
Image via fusion

Thank you, Carrie.  For carrying the torch and for using it so brilliantly.

169 thoughts on “Stay afraid. But do it anyway.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. thank you for this. she was my first hero for playing Leia and became even more of a hero because of her kick ass attitude about her mental health.

    my heart is broken, but my life is so much better because she existed.

  2. What a beautiful tribute, Jenny. I’m not much of a movie watcher, although I saw Carrie Fisher in the first Star Wars, but I was a huge fan of her books. I’m sure she would be proud to have inspired you.

  3. Thank you for this. Carrie was a role model in so many different ways to me. My heart hurts. I will never stop idolizing her.

  4. This is a gorgeous piece, Jenny. Thanks so much for writing it. I admire you and Carrie Fisher, and hope to be as brave and outspoken for myself and others as you.

  5. I was stunned when she fell ill on the plane, and indescribably sad to hear she’d died. Ever since I heard the news, my brain keeps circling back around to “Carrie Fisher died and now there’s a big hole in the world” every few minutes. Except there isn’t. There’s a space where she was that is even now being filled by other people like her (and like you, Jenny) who are no longer afraid to be who they are because of her. Rest in peace, Carrie. You did amazing things.

  6. Beautiful post, beautifully written. I think it’s great that despite her struggles, probably because of them, she has left such a mark on the lives of people she’s never met. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I’m so heartfuckingbroken. I never got to tell her how much she meant to me. I wanted to stand should to shoulder and fight the fight.

  8. I think your tribute was as fitting as any I’ve seen… for anyone. What a wonderful thing to write.

  9. I’m having such a hard time with losing her. I used to work as a waitress in Sedona (not a Carrie story, sorry folks) and I used to say I was going to write a book about what I’d learned because whew. It’s on cabdriver level. So pretty sure I know some of the bad stories personally. But those that are in the good-stories, the I see your humanity stories, the reaching across the divide between us stories, those people, and the stories they engender, those are worth everything. Thanks for this post. My freakflag is flying at half-mast today.

  10. Oh my gosh, what a beautiful tribute. You have made me cry, but in both a happy and sad way. Sad by what we have lost, but happy because we were blessed with her presence and you have put into words what a lot of us feel. Thank you.

  11. She always seemed someone I’d like to meet; I thought she was interesting, and a little dangerous (maybe), but also FULL… of life, of fun, of adventure, of courage, and of sadness. It’s good for us ALL to know that being sad sometimes is okay. We all have days that seem better spent in bed. Hopefully we can balance them with some courage and adventure, too. RIP Ms. Fisher.

  12. So very sad. May the force carry her through. And may the force of good stay with us through the next four or God forbid eight years. I am truly sorry for yet another loss this year. And I appreciated immensely your sharing your “Carrie” story. May she rest in peace sadly way too soon, but finally.

  13. She got your message. Those whose angels help us at the asking knows she got it. See, they aren’t hampered with physical or mental limitations on the other side

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  14. Today is just heartbreaking. She was a trailblazer for sure and not afraid to say whatever was on her mind.

  15. If there was only going to be one woman of note in the original Star Wars universe, I was always so grateful it was her.

    I hope to one day be sitting in the back of a town car, hearing wild stories about you 🙂

  16. Beautifully said. So sad about this. sigh
    This is the final straw that makes me wanna say “Fuck 2016,” but the truth is, I’m afraid of 2017 will only be worse. Guess we’ll all just do it anyway and hope for the best.

  17. What do you use for your email subscriptions,I’m building my blog and trying to figure out the whole WordPress thing..

  18. I am saddened by the world’s loss of a bright star and amazing, quirky and wonderful woman. Like so many, I have seen the movies, but didn’t really truly love her until I started reading her books. I’m paraphrasing the words of one of her Star Wars cast members ” The Force is dark now.”. Rest in peace Carrie Fisher.😢

  19. When I gave my husband the sad news today, his response to me was, “I’ve always thought of you whenever I see her.  You are so beautiful.  Sad she’s gone but you’re still here!” I know if he ever met her in person he would have fallen head over heels in love with her.
    She led many of us out of the darkness and into the light.

  20. Thanks for not mentioning Star Wars or Leia. She was an incredibly talented, funny person, and I love that you celebrated HER.

  21. My heart is broken. It started to crack the day I heard she entered the hospital. So sad to hear she did not make it out.

    Truly, a dark day in mental health advocate history. We lost a warrior. 😢

  22. Thank you for sharing. Hearing her stories of her mental illness always made me feel a little less broken. She had a way of helping others feel like no matter what you were going through, it was all going to be ok, even if it wasn’t. What an amazing person she was. The brightest stars burn out the fastest. She will be missed.

  23. Perfect! Thank you, I feel similar today. She was my hero, for not only being Princess Leia, but for simply being Carrie Fisher. I was never fortunate enough to meet her, but even so, she was the first person to make me feel like I wasn’t crazy, that I could do this and live and exist and have good times on top of the bad. She taught me to ignore other peoples opinions and not to be ashamed. It’s funny how we can become so upset over losing people we never even knew, but when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. People like Carrie become a huge presences in our lives through their work (TV, books, movie etc.). I wanted to be Princess Leia when I grew up. Carrie was a person that I could relate to, which is hard to find when living with mental illness. I know I will miss her forever

  24. I cried when I found out she died. She was one of the first women I idolized. I wish I could have met her in person to tell her how many times she made me feel ok to be me.

  25. She was on the Gram Norton show recently and she had me laughing so hard I was crying. She will live on because of people like you telling her stories.

  26. I’ve been reading tributes ever since I heard the news and crying off and on all day. Though you may not have ever met her in person, I think you’ve given me the most vivid image of who she was a person above and beyond a beloved character. Thank you.

  27. She changed my life, too. I got to tell her that, and I will cherish those five minutes for the rest of my life. I never thought it would happen, but it did, and it was magic.

  28. Your writing always touches me Jenny, ever more so when it is about someone like Carrie Fisher. Thank you for sharing your gift with us and for putting words to our hope and our loss.

  29. I keep hearing her in an interview saying when I die I want it said that I passed drowning in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.

  30. She was amazing. She showed me more than anyone else that strong, sarcastic, take no shit women not only exist, but are awesome and that princesses don’t always come in Disney form.. and they are better for it!! (80’s and early 90’s… When it was ‘forward thinking’ for Disney to have a princess who reads) Learning, as i grew up, that she also struggled with mental issues (among other things) helped humanize her for me in a way that few celebrities manage.

  31. I just finished reading “Shockaholic” a few days ago! The second book of hers I’ve read and loved. She is so smart, funny and has the guts to tell the truth! She will be missed.

  32. It’s unbelievable to think that such an icon is gone from this world. She was so different from other female characters. She talked back, didn’t take any shit, and knew how to defend herself. Not even Darth Vader could intimidate her. So sorry she’s gone, just as a new generation was meeting her for the first time.

  33. I have always been inspired by her. It started with Star Wars as a little kid and then it was her tales about dealing with mental illness. She was amazing and unapologetic. I loved it when she spoke out recently to people who had criticised her for not looking like she did when she was younger and I remember her saying in an interview that apparently she had signed some kind of pact agreeing to never age. She thought it was ridiculous for people to expect her to look like she did 30 years ago. Anyway, I loved her outspoken personality and I admired her.

  34. My heart broke when I heard the news, and it just broke again reading this. Thank your honest and emotional post

  35. Carrie Fisher said after Star Wars it was difficult to go out and date anyone one because she just knew the next day the guy couldn’t wait to tell his buddies “I fucked Princess Leia last night.” That is what I mean by a great sense of humor.

  36. I SOOOO love this! And I soooo needed to read this today! My heart is sad at losing Carrie, too. She always felt like a kindred soul.

  37. Jenny, I started to read this aloud to my DH, and found myself sobbing in the middle of it. I don’t think many understand how…EARTH SHATTERING it was for us to have a strong, kick-ass woman up there on the big screen, keeping up with the boys and the bad-ass villains. Thank you for your homage – it’s beautiful.

  38. Thank you, Jenny. Of all the terrible losses this year, this one hurt me the most. It helped me to hear your tribute to Carrie.

  39. A beautiful tribute. I especially appreciate the closing paragraph, brought a tear to my eye. <3

  40. I always felt a connection to Carrie Fisher because I grew up with a mother around her age who was bipolar too. “She never lost her battle with mental illness” is the exact thing I was thinking when my mother died last month, also of a heart attack. (Seriously, fuck 2016.) I can only hope that I can be as strong as they were.

  41. A beautiful tribute to one trailblazer from another. Keep the fires burning so others can follow.

  42. Jenny, reading your post reminded me that I should let you know that YOU are an inspiration and blazing the trail as well. Last year, just over a year ago actually, I was going through a deep depression that was so crafty, I didn’t know I was even I was in it. But you wrote a nice post on Thanksgiving and I felt inclined to respond (a little out of character for someone going through a deep depression, but I did it anyway).

    Anyway, your heartfelt response was so moving that it actually made me get out of my shell and realize I should probably talk to my doctor, and here I am a year later, happy and functional, not suicidal or depressed, thinking I am a terrible person. I know I had to do the tough part by putting my clothes on, making the appointment, driving to the doctor, filling the prescriptions, etc, etc, but you helped during a very dark time. See exchange below so you can see how the little things you say can make a big impact 🙂

    Catherine | November 26, 2015 at 10:05 pm
    You wrote a post yesterday about as people get older they either get kinder and more empathetic or meaner and bitter and I truly believe this because I work in senior living and I see it all the time. What I saw in the replies to your posts was a lot of people replying about being grateful that they have become better with age. I don’t feel I am one of those people and it is such a terrible thing to have realized. I’ve suffered from years of depression, anxiety and self-loathing. I struggled with alcohol before being able to actually get a couple of years of sobriety. My life finally opens into a life I could live when I became sober, but it was clear that in those years of living in the dark, I had become hardened. I search everyday for opportunities or lessons to gain perspective, find humility, just be a good person. I finally decided that it was time to do the tough thing and go to CBT. I wanted to find an intimate way to respond to you without it splaying out on my facebook feed but your tales really do make an impact on me and for that I am grateful. Thank you for your good heart and one of the little things that helps inspire me to do better.

    (I am sending you such love. People who are too hardened don’t write things like this, and they certainly don’t focus on what they can do to become more kind. You are so much more kind and thoughtful than you know. ~ Jenny)

  43. You aren’t even aware that I exist. It’s okay. How could you possibly? But you’re a wonderful freak show that made me brave. Er. Yes, brave-er. Thanks for that. ‘Shine on you crazy diamond.’ Also, what a beautiful tribute.

  44. Such a beautifully written post (as always). You’re just as beautiful an inspiration as she was. If it weren’t for you, I’d have never started my blog and opened up about my struggles with mental illness. I’m sure I’m not the only one, either… <3

  45. When my sister was staying with friends of our parents in Santa Barbara in the late 60’s, she dated a guy who was Big Brother to Todd Fisher. My sister Susan met Debbie Reynolds and also Carrie. Carrie was maybe ten years old and had her hair in graids. Susan said even then she was a firecracker

  46. I am drawn here when I am down and I can always count on something to distract me. Today, this post, did the opposite; it helped me connect with, and put words to, what’s going on. Though your reflection is heartfelt and wonderfully written, I will prefer to remember her as she wrote in her own obit: “The beloved actress drowned in moonlight, strangled by her own bra.” (http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2016/12/carrie-fisher-has-died/)

  47. I adored her in the 1st Star Wars but she was my heroine for many years while I battled addiction/mental disorders (the dreaded dual) through her books. She wanted to fix her brain and shared her pain towards that effort, but most important was her wicked humor that gave me hope in my despair.

  48. I have to think that Carrie would have fit right in with all of us here. I will miss her humor and her honesty. A good reminder to say what needs to be said before it is too late.

  49. She was one of my real heros, like you Jenny. I loved her books and her one woman show. She was funny and warm. I will miss her.

  50. This is the first time here and that is a beautiful tribute to a wonderful person. I am deeply saddened by her passing.

  51. She was my first role model…I wanted to be just as fierce a warrior as she was in the ST movies..and then later again in life as strong a woman with mental illness. She was flawed..it made her more real. I love your tribute to her. I would have loved to have met her too. Prayers to her family..and to her dog too. I was doing okay til this……
    https://twitter.com/Gary_TheDog/status/812480095185174528
    Rest In Peace Carrie Fisher <3

  52. Ohhhhhhh. Utterly fucking bawling that she’s left … you know what else she left, Jenny? Big “fuck stigma let’s talk about our shit” shoes to fill. Probably about 17 people will be needed to fill those ginormous shoes, us two being two of them. Because you’ve inspired me and I’ve inspired people and my brother was inspired by nobody so he’s gone. He didn’t die from depression HE DIED FROM STIGMA. Stigmata .. the marks we bear when we feel all not there. Hey at the beginning I thought you wrote “she was strange and funny and koala” instead of kookie and I thought fuck yeah, because koalas have such a tight grip they just cling the fuck on. Klingons, basically. I adore you more than you possibly know. xxxxxx

  53. In a year where I lost my mother, this is hitting me so hard. Carrie Fisher was a sneaky role model to me. It’s not like as a child, watching Star Wars on VHS for the thousandth time, I thought “smash that patriarchy, sister.” But she was bossy, and loud, and she had solutions. She was in charge, and I saw that a thousand times. Last year I saw Wishful Drinking for the first time. It was at a low point, and I was questioning why I always had to be too much – too loud, too fat, too opinionated, too honest, too smart, just too much. And Carrie Fisher was like a miracle in that show. Loud and opinionated and smart and FUNNY. Fuck you, she said, this is my body. Fuck you, this is my life, and I’m going to own it and laugh at it and I DON’T CARE IF YOU LIKE IT.

    I also wish that I had the opportunity to tell her what she meant to me. I’m sure she heard that all the time, probably enthusiastic feminists came second in stalker behavior only to nerdy boys with gold bikini obsessions. And I wonder if that was a burden for her. You, Jenny, have meant that to me as well in dark times, as you have for so many others. I hope we don’t ask too much of you, your anxious internet friends stumbling through the dark.

    I don’t really believe in an afterlife, but I like to imagine a dinner party where my mom and Carrie and maybe Julia Child are cooking and drinking and carrying on. And maybe Mom is annoyed at the overuse of the f word, or maybe she’s lightened up about that in this afterlife. I like to think they’re having a well-deserved good time, and that they’re looking out for me. Because I still need them.

  54. I of course loved her as Princess Leia because she was a girl who kicked some serious ass and I was 16 when Star Wars came out and it was a great thing to see a girl kicking ass on the big screen!! Fast forward to 2016 and I finally got around to watching Wishful Drinking on HBO and fell in love with her humor and honesty….she will be missed, especially by all of us broken but magical people. RIP Carrie.
    P.s. 2016 can go suck big donkey dicks…what a shit year! Go away already!

  55. Thank you. I shared your thoughts on my FB since so many of us are touched by the loss of such a memorable life. May she rest in peace.

  56. I remember the day she was born and the day her “father” left his family….the world was outraged. I never dreamed she and one of my kids would share the same diagnosis.
    I am worried about her dog, who went with her everywhere. Some of us are not meant to grow old…

  57. Hey Jenny,

    I understand you wishing to tell Carrie what she meant to you.

    I don’t know if it’s of any comfort but you gave me the opportunity to do with you. It was wonderful. It’s loopy but I feel like it’ll somehow come around to her.

    Sending love.

  58. Jenny, you are my trail blaze. I struggle. I hide. I am not lost because I can see that trail ahead. Lights dim but they are not extinguished as long as there are people like you. Leaders willing to take that first step knowing that there are followers in the world that “just can’t”… I have a lot of “just can’t” days, but I am still here. Thank you.

  59. Thank you, Jenny! Thank you for sharing your life with us. Thank you for posting on my daughter’s page tonight in FB. You have no idea how ecstatically happy you made her tonight! It helps make some of the darkness of the cancer and pending double mastectomy go away! Also thank you to Lisa Dawson who is also one of your followers like Lanine and I. I don’t know if she is on here or just FB so I will go thank her there too! Her words of encouragement are a big help to my daughter too. I have no other words as I’m overwhelmed with kindness from you and others here and on FB and last but not least sadness by Carrie Fisher’s passing. Thank you again. {hugs}

  60. I have been a little taken aback by how the loss of Carrie Fisher has affected me. I was never a fan of Star Wars as such but I realise it’s been in the background throughout a lot of my life, with my dad and brother often watching the movies and family time spent together over it. Carrie was iconic as Princess Leia and her images from the movies just crept into your life. Today I found her on a tissue box in my kitchen! The more I learned about her post Star Wars, the more I liked watching her interviews and thought she was pretty awesome.

  61. This was lovely to read. Thank you for sharing what she meant to you, Jenny.
    I think Carrie’s candor has made it easier for other people to step up with their stories of living with Bipolar. Maria Bamford is another, and we so need those unafraid voices.
    Carrie’s characters had such depth to them. I really loved the character she created for “The Blues Brothers.” That woman could have been just a scripted counterpoint to Ackroyd and Belushi, because you’d have to have moxie to even get a toehold with those two men, but Carrie did. That scene in the sewer where she confronts the two as she brandishes her automatic rifle is a work of art. She takes that character from a woman scorned, righteous anger at Jake’s betrayal, to deciding to soften and believe Jake’s excuses, crooning endearments until he kisses her and it’s a thing of beauty.

    My other favorite scene of hers is from “When Harry Met Sally” as one of the three ladies who lunch. Carrie’s character has the Rolodex of available men, and on finding out one of her entries needs updating, she says “…Married…” as she keeps the card entry, but folds the corner of the card over. He’ll be back. The character has such a back-story at that moment, and that’s pure Carrie’s creation.

    Also, that recent real-life Carrie, where she says Trump’s sniffling is because he’s a coke addict- “And I should know” she’s quoted as saying. She was an aspirational woman like none other.

  62. What a beautiful tribute. Each one of us is special, just not perfect. It is the quirky ones with the courage to live their lives outside the box and share their journeys with us who are most deserving of our respect and admiration.

  63. Maybe she has this in her books.. but how did she parent with mental illness? How do YOU parent with mental illness? I’m having a relapse and I’m struggling with how to best parent while fighting the urge to lock myself in a dark closet and go fetal. How do you do it?

  64. Thanks, Jenny. I was limo chauffeur and Super Shuttle van driver for a few years. Most of my passengers were nice people with a few clinkers in the mix, like the rock star who rode in a 17-passenger limo with just his girl squeeze, leaving his band to sprawl on top of the concert equipment in a van with no passenger seats, or the female howler who sent me out for cheeseburgers and fries which her figure definitely did not need and who, unlike Ms. Fisher, didn’t share. Didn’t tip either.

  65. That was amazing. I can’t help but think she’d be someone I’d love to just hang around with for a day the more I read about her. She’s definitely different, and honest. I like that. I think I’m gonna get a book or two of hers soon…she had a lot to say (and still does, it seems).

  66. 40 years ago, I went to see Star Wars. I was 5. I found a new hero to love, her name was Princess Leia aka Carrie Fisher. She was a kick ass, no holds barred kind of woman, I wanted to be like her when I grew up. This was a lovely tribute to an awesome woman. She will be missed by all who knew and loved her.

  67. Whew! Again, thanks Jenny for a great remembrance for a great lady, who I also thought blazed a trail in my early childhood and early adulthood as a outwardly confident woman (with real struggles to overcome), who did so much with her life, and career, and her image. So much of her life resonates with whom I’ve been and wanted to be. She became famous as a starlet-princess, and ended as a full general/grand dame of writing, comedy, and life. RIP Carrie, long-live Leia.

  68. Fantastic post, Jenny! What a fierce and inspiring human being she was. The world was so much better off with her in it – her courage and strength will be missed. I am so thankful she inspired you – someone else who makes this world a much better place!
    And, I have a feeling she heard all about you and smiled her ass off as she listened to the stories!

  69. I saw today on Facebook that someone had made a meme. Something to the effect that David Bowie had made an alternate universe that was superior to this one and that he was now busy populating it, one person at a time. This felt right in my heart somehow. Beautiful piece, Jenny.

  70. Jenny, you are carrying that torch, too. Thank you for helping many of us to feel less alone. You are truly amazing.

  71. I happened to catch “Wishful Drinking” a few weeks ago. The first time I saw it was over five years ago but this time? I had a brand new appreciation for her brilliance and candid way of story telling. She was a brilliant stand up woman. We lost one of the best. Thanks for sharing this story here, Jenny.

  72. Somebody tell me that a friend has her dog. As traumatic as it is for us to lose a pet, so it is when it happens the other way around. Heartbreaking…

  73. StephP – Carrie’s daughter Billie Lourd has adopted her dog. Gary Fisher loves Billie and is already “best friends” with Billie’s French bulldog Tina. I don’t think I can post a URL here but the someecards.com site has a couple of stores about Gary, and a series of heart-rending tweets that are exactly what you are imagining how a dog feels when their human isn’t coming home, and just thinking about them reduces me to tears. (It doesn’t help that I lost my dog this year so I’m kind of hypersensitive to anything dog-related right now.)

    And I just saw that Carrie’s mother Debbie Reynolds has died. Poor Billie! To lose her mother and grandmother within days of each other.

  74. On a different, possibly lighter, note — several brands have tried to use Carrie’s death for advertising purposes. Cinnabon tweeted a picture of her as Princess Leia that looks like it’s done in cinnamon and powdered sugar, with a Cinnabon placed right where you are thinking it would be. The message is “RIP Carrie Fisher. You’ll always have the best buns in the galaxy.” They have since removed the tweet and issued an apology, saying they meant it as a tribute. However, some people are pointing out that Carrie had a marvelous sense of humor and would probably have gotten a kick out of the Cinnabon tweet.

  75. I just…. instinctively… admire and love you. And so far, those you admire and are inspired by. I shut up now… but only after saying Thank you! 🙂 XO

  76. I’ve been sad ever since I’ve heard the news of her passing away. Finally I came here and read this and somehow felt much better. I looked to you and you did good. Real good.

  77. You and Victor came out of nowhere… and found your rightful place in my “world”, A place a respect, hilarious understanding… and fun. A place of honor. I can only offer gratitude in return. Thank you! 🙂

  78. I saw Carrie Fisher’s fire blazing trail, too.

    I was a girl of 14 when Star Wars: A New Hope came out in 1977. Never before had I seen such a strong female lead or even a female lead! I was floored. Then fascinated, hooked. And I’ve had a girl crush on her ever since. Turns out Carrie Fisher WAS the first outspoken advocate for mental illness for me. I will never forget the paths she helped me navigate. She showed me I’m not alone, and that I CAN do this odd thing called life, but in my OWN way and that it’s okay to do so. When I found you, Jenny, I thought I won the lottery because you show me the same things, but in a slightly different way that is totally YOU, of course. I will never be able to thank Carrie Fisher for all that she did for me but I CAN tell you. Thank you, Jenny, for the laughs, the tools, the courage to help me make my life livable; for letting me know that there is always a hand above, ready to help me up.

  79. Of all the celebrities we have lost this year, her death has hit me the hardest. One thing that I hate is when people try to make death their personal tragedy, but Carrie Fisher is so different because her loss IS a personal tragedy for many, many people, and for so many reasons. She was a mental health advocate, she was an icon from our childhoods, she was General Leia who refused to bow to the wind of loss and heartbreak. She was a survivor, and for that, she will be cherished forever.

  80. I worked with her more than once. She was amazeballs. And beautiful crazy in the best way. I don’t mean mentally ill. I mean took chances and was witty and amazingly funny and vulnerable and beautiful and when I told her she looked my mother and aunts, she was flattered rather than insulted. I had walked into our green room and she was sitting on the floor digging out her makeup. And I was stunned that one of my aunts was there. That’s when I realized why people said I looked like her. My mother has six sisters and I definitely look like a Hope girl. I had always assumed that at some point I would introduce my son to her. That is my biggest regret now. I missed a chance to share her with my son. I cried all day one the day she died. One of my favorite people is gone. She wasn’t the first one I lost this year. This year has sucked for that for me. I am terrified who will go next.

  81. Just maybe we aren’t broken and it is the surface dwellers who are. Pain seems to break alot of people down and then there are we few that pain sharpens our outlook and creativity. I can only think that Carrie is enjoying the Elysian fields.

  82. Thank you for this beautiful tribute. I just wanted to let you know that you are Carrie Fisher to me. Sadly, I hadn’t known much about her struggles until after she passed. Thank you for your honesty, courage, and humor. Your strength encourages others to share their struggles.. just as Carrie’s had.

  83. Very nicely said. and now she has her mother with her’ Such a sad event. but they lived very good lives and at least they are together.

  84. Just finished Furiously Happy. I’m a born optimist who gave birth to bi-polar daughter. Her mind never stops and I don’t recall a time she EVER slept. She worries about everything ( I don’t worry enough). So many moments in your book touched me… and I realize now how there is no normal. Some people just need to be loved with more intention than others. I love the way your mind rambles….it makes more sense than most dogmatic logic. Thanks for the insights and laughs.

  85. Happy Birthday, my dear! I have bought your books for myself and friends and we have all loved them. My most recent purchase is your latest (which I call the words and drawing book because I can’t remember the name this minute), that I purchased over a month ago, so I can give it to my step-granddaughter for her birthday next month (if Amazon Prime ever ships it). I was lucky to finally get to know her before the holidays, and showed her your drawings, after she expressed her interest in art and shared her drawings. She’ll only be 13, but she wise beyond her years, thanks to her totally careless and reckless parents, and is looking forward to receiving it.
    But I am commenting, I think for the first time, because of your recent post about your love and admiration for Carrie Fisher. I’m past the age that her role in Star Wars meant anything woman power to me, but I love that many women felt that way. She first caught my attention in Shampoo, and then years later read her fabulous writings. She expressed so many things that had been in my head for years. Postcards From the Edge, first the book and then the movie, are both masterpieces in my world. And, she loved her dog, just as we love ours.
    As if the holidays were not difficult enough this year (and I thought November was a nightmare!) my very loved rescue dog, Charlie, was diagnosed with diabetes and we have to inject him with insulin twice a day. Yesterday afternoon our vet told us our greatest fear is happening – he is almost blind. (My beloved Unhusband is all up for spending thousands of his dollars for eye surgery that may only help him for months!) Charlie is currently under my desk/feet because some assholes in our very nice neighborhood are shooting off fireworks and he is terrified. Not as bad as last year, but really folks, let’s leave 2016 behind peacefully. I’ve had enough full body blows this year to last this old woman a lifetime.
    Much love, Jenny, and Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.
    Joanne

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