I won't pretend that I was good friends with Jay or that I knew him really well. What I will say is that I was enormously privileged to have met Jay a few times in person and to have interviewed him on The Skiffy and Fanty Show. That interview is very personal for me in part because I am also a cancer survivor, and it was because of Jay's frank discussion of his struggles that I started to blog a little about my own cancer journey. It was also one of the best interviews I've ever conducted, for which I give Jay all the credit. He was always a joy to talk to.
In person, Jay was friendly, kind, and hilarious. I had a handful of interactions with him (he even remembered me, which was cool) and even got to see a rough cut of his documentary about his cancer journey, Lakeside, at Worldcon last year. It was a beautiful thing, even in rough form. I don't think there was a dry eye in the room, which says a lot about the power of Lakeside.
Most people, however, will not have met Jay. Most people won't have had any personal experiences with him or, as a small few will probably discuss this week, have been good friends. Most people will remember Jay for his enormous body of writing. In a way, he left behind a little piece of himself for all of us to remember. We should enjoy that piece as much as we can because it is beautiful.
I'll miss you, Jay.