In Loving Memory of Dr. Stephen Sacks
On November 27, 2003, I witnessed Dr. Stephen Sacks’ transition from this life. I had the tremendous privilege of being a colleague and friend of Dr. Sacks for over 10 years, and amidst the tears and the memories that flowed through me on that day of loss, I found myself totally blessed to have had such a lovely being for a friend.
There are many words to describe a man, but they cannot reconstruct this man as he was to me — at best, they can be descriptors. Stephen was dedicated to making a difference in the world of Herpes, as a Doctor, as a human being and as an emotional caregiver.
He brought me into his passion of purpose, and ignited me with it, as he recruited so many others in the world to look at herpes and attempt to relieve the pain and suffering that surrounded it. He infused me with his desire to make a difference, and mentored me, in order that I would be able to counsel those that were left emotionally challenged because they were facing life with herpes.
He travelled the world over — lecturing, teaching, inciting, cajoling and nurturing others into awareness. He laboured over the writing of books, founded the Viridae Clinic for research and, genuinely, gave the world a wake up call. It is because of him that I am here, doing the work that I do today. I am now one of his living legacies that he has passed the baton to, and I will carry that torch forward because of him and because he infused me with the passion that burned within him.
As a friend, Stephen was loyal and always to be counted on. He made room for me in his heart and never wavered from that choice. Though we did not spend a lot of time together, whenever we could steal an hour or two from our hectic schedules, we would find a restaurant hideaway to catch up on each other’s lives.
We had one of those seldom-found friendships that respect each other, push each other and challenge each other, to become the best of ourselves. We would scheme about a new herpes awareness program or seek solutions for emotional awareness in the medical world. We would question each other about our ideals, the way we were living our lives — without judgment, without discouragement, without negating anything that we had attempted in our lives, for better or for worse. We would ask each other to be brutally honest about our own fulfillment in this experience called life and debate the outcome of our choices.
We grew each other. Somehow, intrinsically, we had a notion of what each other might need. He kept my feet firmly planted in the world of credibility, pushing me toward schooling and publishing, so that my work would be taken seriously. I pushed him emotionally and spiritually, to know his deepest truths, daring him to stand in his own uniqueness.
There were times he was like my little brother. At other times, he would be insightful and wise. Yet, others, a colleague, a mentor, a teacher — but always one of my dearest friends.
There was not one single moment in the entire 10 years I knew this man, that I felt anything but a very high regard, clean love and respect for him. He was a ray of sun brightening my heart, a gift in my life and a soul connection that I will cherish eternally.
And, if he were here looking over my shoulder as I write this tribute to him, he would re-write my words for grammatical correctness.
I will miss you my friend. I will so miss you. Both, the world and I, have evolved because of your presence.
~ Jocelyn Rose
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