Fifteen Years Gone

//Fifteen Years Gone

Fifteen Years Gone

Fifteen years! Without Hugh’s light, laughter. Where does it go? The people who knew him, loved him, the ones who still exist, carry it with them. I think of Billy Crystal’s Emmy tribute to his friend Robin Williams:

“That beautiful light will continue to shine on us forever. And the glow will be so bright it’ll warm your heart, it’ll make your eyes glisten, and you’ll think to yourselves, Robin Williams: what a concept.”

Hugh Davis: what a concept. If he were here now he’d have us in stitches doing Trump impressions. He’d be jumping around with his grandkids. He’d greet us in the morning with, “It’s going to be a great day today!”

Our days are good, great in fact; they’d be oh so different were he to have stayed longer. It’s disconcerting, makes us wonder about reality. We’d be different people in different homes leading different lives.

And now, I give up the blog to my oldest, Jetanne DiCola, with a message to her father:

Fifteen years ago you died. And I have tried on many faces since. One where I was a victim. One where I was a martyr. One where I was a shell (filling up on other people’s dreams). You got further and further away.

We go up to the cold place on Purple Hill to remember your name. I remember your warmth.

The last two years my other faces died too. I’m still peeling back the layers to find what is underneath. I get a little closer when pen meets paper. I get a little closer when I remember the creases at the corner of your eyes when you smiled big. Even closer when I get real still. When I close my eyes to see the dance of brilliant blue cosmic sparks.

I see you. With me always. I see US. Dancing with the vastness of it all under a blanket of stars.

Also, a beautiful poem, by Jetanne as well, for all us humans, hue men and women, and Hugh Man too:

Light Being

Oh there is so much beauty in the subtle and the subtler still
I don’t want to know surface and small talk
I want to know the light reflecting off the pavement on a warm October afternoon
All the different shades of my daughter’s hair
Like spun gold as it passes through my fingers
The kindness of strangers as they smile at my son and
The simple offering of the divider on the grocery belt
My breath rising and falling, each at once, and a lifetime of breath
Creating more spaciousness inside of me
Giving me life
The simple act of connection
Locking eyes
Feeling as one heart
Creating expansion over contraction or reaction
I want to know hearts
I am a humble student walking this path on and on
Trudging through darkness to rest silently in the arms of the
Surrendering to all that is
Open to the flow of the continuous heartbreaking beauty that is life
As a Hue Man

Website photo: Hugh reeling in Big Fish in Mexico a couple of weeks before his death.





  1. Leslie Blumas November 30, 2019 at 6:56 am - Reply

    Beautiful. Tearful. Thoughtful

  2. Lorraine Lewis November 30, 2019 at 8:06 am - Reply

    Rita I’m left with big tears in my eyes for the warmth and laughter he brought to everyone but so profoundly to his beloved family.

    • Rita Hartley November 30, 2019 at 8:44 am - Reply

      He sure did Lorraine! Thanks so much for commenting.

  3. Cathy November 30, 2019 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    Like the others, I am also tearful. What a great man he was. And like my mom said when my dad died at 35 years old “God only takes the good”. Jetanne’s poem is beautiful ❤️❤️❤️

    • Rita Hartley November 30, 2019 at 5:00 pm - Reply

      Thank you for your kind words and your kindness throughout my grief journey. So appreciated!

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