We said our farewells to Monty yesterday. I had the privilege to serve as officiant. For our extended RT family who couldn't travel, or if you're a community member who simply wanted to be there in spirit, here's a selection from the proceedings. Participating in this manner helped provide me some small degree of closure, and I hope sharing these thoughts might do the same for others.
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We gather here today, family and friends, brothers and sisters in blood, as well as those who are brothers and sisters in the creative spirit, to pay our last respects and bid farewell to one who was a dearest friend, brother, and husband. An artist, a mentor, a collaborator... occasionally a co-conspirator. And someone we are unbelievably proud to have called our crewmate, our comrade-in-arts. He was so many things to so many people, including the thousands upon thousands around the world whose lives he touched, who mourn with us and whose thoughts are with us today as well.

If you knew Monyreak Oum, whether as Rocky or Monty, then you are undeniably aware that you were privileged indeed. To get to know Monty was to share in an overwhelming passion for life, for pushing yourself to do great things in your own unique way. Whether through his displays of the raw energy and beauty of the human form, or through the power of words, he was always challenging himself to find new ways to share philosophies and tell stories -- stories that would find their way into the world and engage and inspire others to move beyond their perceived limitations, and in turn make great changes themselves.

Personally, I always found Monty to be a person of unshakable faith, in his own way. I offer Monty's own words.

"For it is in passing that we achieve immortality, through this we become a paragon of virtue and glory to rise above all. Infinite in distance and unbound by death..."

A believer in the indomitable human spirit and its ability to exceed boundaries, and just as critical, to live on in the work you leave behind for others, Monty hated to waste even a single moment that was not in service of adding something to the greater culture. The more of your ideas that reach others, the more you will live on, even should your body fail you.

And so, although we mourn his passing, we know Monty's ideas and passion and energy live on through us. We are all humbled, honored, and privileged to share these thoughts with you, to celebrate together, to grieve together, to honor and pay tribute to his far-too-brief life... and in our own way, to express our love and admiration of him.

While the thoughts offered today are but a few of the ways that Monty has affected all of us here, we know that there are times ahead of us in which we will be surprised to find new ways he impacted our lives, ways that haven't even occurred to us yet. And while you may have a moment of sadness as you are reminded of what we've lost, perhaps don't linger long in that moment, and instead consider being happy that you found this new realization. Be happy you found another opportunity to keep his energy alive and the momentum of his ideas going.

Most important of all, go create new works. Monty had a seemingly infinite amount of energy to spend on his art and craft and now he's passed that momentum on to us. We are now the caretakers of that spirit and it's our responsibility to do right by it, be inspired by it. As Matt asked in his journal upon Monty's passing, "Use your imagination to make the world a better place in any way you can. If you know Monty like we do, then you know he would certainly be doing that if he were able to."