The Writer’s Voice Lives On…

Someone I didn’t know died this week. A fellow writer, a fellow PENNWRITER. His name was James R. Buescher and he was only 34  years old.

As I read condolences and memories on the message boards I am deeply saddened.  I did not have the honor of knowing this man. He sounded like someone I’d get along with really well, probably get in a bit of trouble too.

People talked of his infectious energy. Just reading stories about him I felt it creep in. The story that stuck with me was when he accepted a PENNWRITER’S award, two of them I believe. His joy seeped out from someone’s memory and found its way to me. I could imagine him smiling his way to the podium.  According to the lucky ones who knew him, he smiled a lot.

Loss is profound and sometimes without reason. It is often beyond our control. What do we do, for those of us left behind? Live our lives the best way we can. Remember the person, talk about them, laugh about them, let them live on through us.

A writer’s legacy is infinite. So, for those of you who had the distinct honor of knowing him, shout from the rooftops-sound his barbaric yawp for all to hear. For those of us who didn’t, tell someone about him, even if your only reference is this post.

The Dead Poets Society had a poignant scene.  Robin Willliams’ character had his students looking at old photos of previous students. Men from bygone era. Look at James’ photo and do the same.

John Keating: They’re not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? – – Carpe – – hear it? – – Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.

Here is a link to his obituary:

A wonderful post from Lisa Kastner about James:


2 responses to “The Writer’s Voice Lives On…

  1. What a beautiful tribute. I think we should raise a glass to James at this year’s conference.

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