RIP, Erik "Possum Man" Stewart

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36 Responses to “RIP, Erik "Possum Man" Stewart”

  1. Andrew Champ says:

    I’m sorry to hear.  If only we could all go this way.

  2. awjt says:

    Possum’s OSSUM!!!!  Rest peacefully, good man.

  3. Nadreck says:

    There was an impromptu wake for him on the weekend.  About 70 people showed up from about a dozen disparate subcultures.  Not one person could think of a single instance when he had been less than a gentleman: in the literal sense of the word.  No matter what your age, no matter how complicated your gender-identity, no matter what your politics, regardless of your technical skills or lack thereof – he treated you as a peer and an equal.

    Literally not a day has gone by since his death when his friends have not found more of his friends and colleagues in communities and fields which we had no idea he was  a guru in.

    • “About 70 people showed up from about a dozen disparate subcultures. ”

      They did? I was at the park, and it looked pretty rained out to me.

      • NicoleLeeWhite says:

        It was held in Trinity Bellwoods; during the rainy bit people were under the overhang of a building, and then the sun came out for the rest of the gathering.  I’m sorry you missed it :(

  4. millie fink says:

    Such a loss! He sounds amazing, and this post is a beautiful eulogy.

  5. franko says:

    didn’t know him, but he sounds like he was a credit to human beings. my condolences to all who knew him. one question, though: what’s the story behind his nickname?

    • Cory Doctorow says:

       He invented a superhero in elementary school — Possum Man, with the nearsightedness of a possum and the power to hang upside-down from his tail and sleep.  It became his avatar. Erik even had a cape and a shirt with a big P on it.

      • franko says:

        thanks, cory. i was expecting it to be some eyesight-based thing — never expected it to take a fun superhero angle. : )

  6. NicoleLeeWhite says:

    I miss him.

  7. I love this man I never met…

  8. creesto says:

    That’s one terrific eulogy

  9. digi_owl says:

     The brightest lights burn the shortest.

  10. Vnend says:

    He sounds like someone I would have enjoyed talking with. Condolences to all who knew him.

  11. Rickenbacker4001 says:

    What a character.  Great eulogy as well.  My Condolences.

  12. Kevin Green says:

    im sorry to have missed this man…. seems like we would have been friends

  13. David Pescovitz says:

    Lovely tribute, Cory. Wish I’d known Possum Man but thanks for introducing us to him.

  14. Adam Parfrey says:

    Beautiful obit. Made me feel the loss.

  15. Cowicide says:

    Like others have said, he sounds like he would have been a wonderful person to sit and chat with over coffee.

  16. putty says:

    I knew him more by his reputation than I did personally.  Either way this is sad news, the world needs more people like Possum Man.  I really appreciated reading your words about him.  Please pass our love on to his family and friends.

    - Pierce

  17. A glorious and frustrating conversationalist, yes! I used to live with the guy and he would engage on absolutely any little matter, pursuing it as far as it would possibly go. I think I appreciate it more realizing how apathetic most of the rest of the world is.

  18. Evan Smith says:

    I only remember him from SEED but I always wondered what had happened to him-turns out he was right here all along! Many prayers and thoughts to those who were close to him.

  19. Paul Atreides says:

    I only ever got to have maybe half a dozen in-depth conversations with him, but I’m still really broken up about this, because he’s changed the course of my life in many other ways, some of which I’m still discovering even now.  For example, I knew he was involved in the Anarchist U, but I had no idea he helped start it.  And the Mud House, which he co-founded, has been a social hub for me and in many ways the inspiration for my own experiment in communal living – two of our founding members were living there when I met them.

    • Nadreck says:

      “..but I had no idea he also…” is turning up hourly in conversations about his life.  Considering his accomplishments the guy was as humble as dust: I know a lot of people with a small percentage of his effects on the world who’ll tell you all about themselves in the first five minutes after you meet them. People who’d known him for decades had no clue about any of this stuff. Possum was too interested in you, and utterly unconcerned with your opinion of him (at least as far as his self-worth went), to go over *his* old stuff: he was too interested in going on to his new stuff or finding out about your old stuff that he might not have known about yet.

      I begin to suspect that I have had a brush with one of the 36 Tzaddikim: the 36 living saints on whose (in many senses of the word) selflessness the world depends on for its existence. 

  20. I miss him too. I have a book of his that I’ll never get to return to him in person. The comic he drew for me, which I treasured before, I’ll treasure even more now. I’m just so sad about this. What a shitkicker this life is sometimes.

  21. Cory, I’m so sorry for your loss. Just last week Erik popped into my mind and I vowed to reconnect with him.  I’m devastated that I was too late.  What you wrote is so beautiful.  It brings comfort to know so many other people’s lives were touched by him as mine was.  What a glorious soul. Thank you.  Love, Geneviève

    • Cory Doctorow says:

       Thank you, Genevieve.  It is good to hear from you again, even if under such sad circumstances.

  22. majdal says:

    I only met Possum a few times, and he has inevitably left me with many thoughts and ideas that will be with me for a long time. He will be missed. 

  23. In the past few years, Possum and I had been slowly working our way through the collected works of Joss Wheedon together. We would watch an episode of a show, then talk about it, picking it apart and analyzing it for hidden meaning before moving on to the next one. Sometimes it would take longer to discuss an episode than it had to watch it. We got through all of Buffy this way, and had just finished season 3 episode 1 of Angel. Of all the things that I miss about him, that’s the one that keeps sticking in my mind. I lost my Weedon-watching buddy. I miss him.

  24. Robbo says:

    I didn’t know Possum but was touched by your remembrance of him and was struck by how familiar he looked to me.  Just found out this morning he’s the nephew of Andrew Stewart, my sister’s boyfriend.  The world is a small place indeed.  My condolences for such a profound loss.

  25. madsybrown says:

    Erik was my cousin and my friend and he was the best. My family gatherings won’t be the same and I am going to miss him so much. Thank you for writing this, it is perfect :) He was such great person and always surrounded himself with awesome people and friends.

    RIP Erik

  26. Possum was a great man, he was blunt, logical, direct, honest and critical, I found him to be a refreshing person to converse with and he had a great sense of humor too, we shared some meaningful conversations over the years and I wish I had the opportunity to just sit and talk with him again. I have to say that I quite admired Possum and that we lost a good soul that day,  it breaks my heart that he’s left this world and it makes me realize how important people like Possum are, honest people are hard to come by, you need to remember to keep those people in your life. Thank you Cory for posting this, it’s such a beautiful way to cherish Possum’s memory. Rest in peace old friend.

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