aaron-aites--e1455756759681In midst of one of the most brutal years ever, it’s been reported that the director of the black metal documentary Until The Light Takes Us, Aaron Aites has passed away after losing his battle to kidney cancer. Fellow co-director of the 2008 documentary and partner, Audrey Ewell, had launched a GoFundme page two months ago to help Aites pay his medical bills but now she shared the news of his passing by stating:

Aaron is gone. He died in his sleep, and he was not in pain. He battled so, so hard, was so brave, so loving, such a good man throughout. His brain was still fighting, but his body couldn’t go any further. We could never quite catch up to it, no matter what we tried. And we tried so hard. I had hope until the very end. More importantly, so did he. You guys made that possible. Your kindness and generosity let us battle with all our might, with total focus. For those of us who live on without him, we have the comfort of knowing that we did absolutely everything we could. That he wasn’t denied anything that might have helped. And we were able to take care of him properly, completely, to alleviate his worries about money and costs, to give him every chance and with so much love and support from those of us on the ground and from all of you.

Thank you. He was a truly amazing man. I want to think that there is someone or something out there plucking our best and he made the cut. His intelligence, warmth and love made him the kind of person who inspires others to be their best selves. He gave so much to the world and to the people whose paths he crossed. Please honor him and his legacy however you see fit. Please know that your help made a difference. A friend mentioned the Ram Dass quote the other day, that “we are all just walking each other home.”

We walked Aaron home, surrounded by love.

And I want to say this, please bear with me, as the sun comes up for the first time in a world without Aaron in it by my side. We are all afraid. We’re all in pain. We’re all insecure. We want to be loved, but we’re afraid to be vulnerable. We want to do things of value, but maybe we don’t know how to begin, or we secretly fear that we’re frauds, that we’re not good enough. Maybe we never begin, or we do what we think others want, because we’re afraid that we won’t survive, afraid that we won’t be loved, or appreciated.

Because we all want to be better people, but we sometimes (or mostly) do what we have to, to survive. We fight over scraps, view each other as potential enemies. Cover our soft underbellies and hurry on our way. When what we really need to do to be safe, to be whole, is to walk each other home. Not in death, but in life. To look out for each other. To be open to the truth that another might offer.

I was so lucky to spend so much of my life with a beautiful man, a deeply loving soul. And to be loved by him. To be sustained and nourished by his love. And I’m a total mess, a sometimes terrible person, an occasional insecure monster. But I was loved by an amazing man. And if I can be loved, anyone can. Everyone can. You can. So I guess my preference would be that you honor his life by letting down your guard a little bit. By loving someone, or by loving everyone a little bit more. And to keep in mind that every single person you meet wants to be loved, wants to connect, wants deep down to love you. And that you don’t have to be afraid. Because we’re all together in that fear. We all intrinsically understand each others pain and fear. None of us is alone, even when it really truly terribly feels that way. There are billions of us, all feeling the same way. So do it anyway. Let others in. Be available to others. Be open to love. Be open to the truth of other people.

OK. That’s it. Thank you all again. I am feeling deep, terrible pain and sadness right now at the loss of so much love, of my person, my home, my safe haven in the world. Many of us are deeply mourning this loss right now. But we are all mourning something, or someone. We have all lost. So let’s find each other. And let’s walk each other home. Aaron loved you all.

Our deepest condolences to those close to him. If you haven’t watched the documentary, you can do so below: