Saturday, July 21, 2012

In Fond Memory of my Best Friend: Katy O’Leary

Written on 6-25-2012, from Ely State Prison

Usually it’s easy for me to write something down on paper; writing is what I do; it pretty much comes natural to me. But now, as I set here and struggle to find the right words, and the right stories, while wiping away the tears from my eyes, and the snot from my nose, I’m finding it difficult to write this, not only because the tremendous sadness I feel inside my heart, as I am just now finding out, but also because Katy was such an Incredible, Amazing person, that I just want to make sure that I say all that my heart can say, to honor her the way she deserves, so please bear with me here, ç uz I do have an amazing synchronicity to share.

Katy was my best friend. Of all the friends I have, she was my best friend. I’ve never met a person in this world who was so full of love and compassion! Love emanated from her very being; she was the embodiment of love – no, actually, she was LOVE! – Everything about Katy was love: everything she did was an act of love. If I ever said ‘I don’t know what love is,” then I was wrong, because I knew Katy, and she was LOVE. She showed me what love is, through her actions and just through her very existence.

It just shocks me that she’s gone now. It’s hard to grapple with. I am a man who is currently incarcerated in a maximum security prison, and I can’t even begin to explain how much Katy’s letters and her support has been the very thing that has helped me get through these days, months, and years. Not only me, but Katy has also helped my friends in here, all of who, have come to love her, appreciate her, respect her and truly value her friendship. Katy really cared about us. She cared about people in prison, the people that most of society has turned her back to, but she refused to turn her back on us, and because of her friendship and support, I promise you, Ely State Prison was made a better place. She helped us make it better, with her dedication and kindness, and not only with her letters and cards, but she really believed in what I had going on in here, raising awareness, passing out literature, building study groups with my fellow prisoners, and she would seriously go out of her way to make copies of various kinds of literature and reading materials, so that I could pass them around to other prisoners in here, as a means to educating them, lifting their spirits during such tumultuous times and while living in such sordid conditions, and just trying to raise the overall consciousness of the prisoners in here.

When she moved from Oakland, California, to Michigan to be by her mother’s side, Katy had made sure to [lug] envelopes and envelopes of copies she had made for us, she had them in the trunk of her car, and was going to make sure they were safe, so that she could send them in to us.

Katy was really amazing! The first time I started a book drive for the ESP prison library, she was my most dedicated supporter! She went around from bookstore to bookstore, person to person, collecting books, and even donating her own personal collection of books to our library, just so the prisoners here could have spiritual and educational books to read! The first time she donated 13 boxes of books to our library! A few months later, she donated 21 boxes of books! I was astonished by her dedication and her love! What a great person she was. The second book drive we had, a couple of years later, she was just as dedicated and passionate about the whole ordeal, once again donating another 21 boxes of books! So, the prisoners here will always have something to remember her by, and because of her, prisoners here will always have the opportunity to grow and educate themselves!

Back in 2007, Katy drove all the way out here to Nevada to attend a very important legislative meeting, to help make changes for Nevada prisoners. She got up and spoke her heart out, because I asked her to, and because I told her how much we needed her support on this. So, she got up and spoke to a room full of strangers, spoke her heart out, and helped us get Assembly Bill 510 passed! Katy was an Activist, and so much more, she did it all out of love, and I really admired her for that.

Yes, Katy truly [was] my best friend. She was someone I turned to and confided in when I was at my lowest ebb, and she’d always find the right words to pick me back up again. I have hundreds of letters and cards from her, she confided everything about herself to me, about her life and things going on. There’s nothing she didn’t, or couldn’t tell me, or talk to me about. She always knew how to pick out nice cards too. Different than my other types of cards I’ve ever received, but I loved her choice of cards and especially the inspirational things she would write inside and on the back of them. Her words always meant a lot to me.

I introduced Katy to my mother, and to many of my closest friends, and she became very, very close to all [?] Everybody loves Katy, everybody has been touched by her, she was Amazing!

Katy taught me about synchronicity, and we’ve had some amazing, awesome synchronicities of our own, one of which I’m going to tell you about here shortly… And it was because of Katy that I’ve added the word “Resonate” into my vocabulary. She would always be telling me something was really “resonating with her.” She had so many stories, so many positive and wonderful things to say, she talked to me about her friends, her […] daughters, Rachel, Rhiannon and Heather, and she’d always talk about her grandsons Calvin and Greyson, who she loved and adored so much.
She always talked about the 13 moon calendar, the Mayans, the Native Americans and their spirituality, and about how much she loved being Irish, and about being a midwife, and about magic and love and about everything. She would write me these amazing, long letters that would never bore me, but that were always filled with excitement, emotion and adventure, and inspiration. She really knew how to be a friend, she knew how to heal and how to help me pull through the darkness, and how to help me get through this time while being confined to a maximum security prison cell.

Oh, I am devastated, I can’t believe she’s gone, so suddenly, so unexpectedly, this really hurts to lose my best friend, I’m really, really going to miss her.
She was always telling me how she was “looking for her tribe.” In the last letter I wrote her (I really hope she got it?) I told her that I’d be getting out soon and that we could both go up to the Northwest together, Washington State, and find a place to live and find our tribe. And I was waiting for her reply, and now I find this out, that she’s gone, and that she died in Oregon, of all places. Wow. This just hits me hard, Katy was so much a part of my life, I called her ‘Warrioress Katy”, because she was like a warrior woman to me, always willing to take on the fight with me, to fight by my side, and to fight for me. She was Red Planetary Serpent, she taught me all about the calendar, and really got my Mom into all of that, and she taught me how we were living out of synch with [Saturn] time…

When I first met Katy, when we initially started writing to each other, we hit it off, right off the bat! It was one synchronicity after the other. We both found that we needed each other, and we had one of the most amazing synchronicities together, only months into our friendship. She kept telling me how a bluejay kept visiting her backyard, and on the very exact day that I came to the hole, August 5th, 2006, I looked out the back window of my new cell, and lo and behold, there was a bluejay, right there!

We’ve had many other magical synchronicities since then, but what’s really amazing is this – she believed, as I believe, that birds are carriers of our souls, and that they symbolize the souls of the dead… Right before Katy died, passed away – this is really amazing, and I swear it’s the absolute truth – somehow a little sparrow was able to get inside of the unit that I’m on, and it was flying around on the tier! I was able to push some bread out of my door, and I actually fed the little sparrow. It is very unusual and very difficult for a bird to get inside the prison, and on to the unit, and secretly, I’m somewhat astonished and awed by signs and magical things myself, so when I seen the little sparrow flying around inside the unit, I knew something was up, and instantly I thought of my best friend, Katy!

Oh, and it hurts now that she’s gone! I’ve lost my best friend, but not before she came to say good bye to me, and to all of us here, ‘cuz the guards were saying that the bird was also flying down the hallway, over to unit 4! I know that little sparrow had to be carrying Katy’s soul, I don’t know how to explain it, as I don’t believe in heaven or hell, but in my heart I know that was Katy’s way of saying good bye to me.

The world has definitely suffered a devastating loss, now that our dear loved one, Katy, is gone! Good bye Katy, I promise I will always, always carry you in my heart. You’ve touched my heart and my life, in ways that will always be a part of me. I love you Katy, and I’m really, really going to miss you!
With a sad, lonely heart,

To Katy’s daughters, or to whom it may concern, I am almost certain that your Mom was probably in the middle of writing a letter to me, on her computer, or in a card, or an unfinished letter, somewhere, because she was always writing me, always letting me know what was going on… She wasn’t able to mail the manila envelopes (copywork) to me, but that’s okay, I’m not worried about that, but it would really, really mean everything to me, just to be able to read the last letter (s) she might’ve had for me, so if you can find that amongst her things, I would really appreciate if someone could send that to me:
Coyote Sheff #55671
P.O. Box 1989,
Ely, NV 89301
Or via: (run by friends)
Thank you!! Also, please let me know the exact location of Katy’s burial site, so I can visit her and pay my respects when I get out. Thank you. If there’s anything I can do for you, to help, or to be of service, it would be my honor to do so. Your Mother was awesome, and I’m truly sorry and devastated for your loss. Your Mother was so awesome!