How did you go on? How did you pick up where you left off after three weeks of enjoying what it feels like to be away from it from a while? What kept you from feeling that being alone was not worth all that you had to give up?

Even without considering the fear of physical harm, which you would suffer in the extreme, your persistence was not merely inspiring. We could be inspired because of your taking off. But that can’t have been a Golgotha you chose to climb. Before you were silenced your determination seemed stubborn for some, unreasonable for others, irrational for those for whom compromise, appeasement, if not outright complicity where a more comfortable path. Some admired you, but for none was the admiration enough to become you.

What conscience pricked you to be the pricking conscience of everyone else? What reward or gratification could have motivated you to walk in fire unblinking? What told you that alone you could fight so many enemies when the only weapon you carried was your conviction of being right?

Where were your doubts and fears? How did you drain them from your system and replaced them with the armour to repel the hatred you were paid with? What was it that gave you the strength to remember they were wrong about you?

Why did you think we were worth your time? Why did you meekly accept your fate of isolation and derision when you were meek about nothing else? Did you think you would win? Did you think you’d be standing when your enemies fell under the weight of your evidence? Were you waiting for your final triumph?

And now. Do you think you have triumphed now? Do we know what we would know if you were still here to tell it to us? Are you vindicated? Have your enemies fallen as far as they deserved? Have we done what we were supposed to do? Did we understand your mission, and have we lived up to it?

Are we too short, too weak, too compromising, too malleable for the great task you have left for us? Do we disappoint you when we despair? Are you let down when we clam up, unable to find the words for our indignation and frustration with the mediocrity and sheer ill intent of our rulers? Do you roll your eyes when we are unable to find the words now you are no longer there to write the script for us? Are we the mediocrity you mocked? Were we laughing at ourselves when you poked inadequacy so bluntly and so sharply?

They mock us because we sound like we pray to you as one would a saint. We fumble in the dark, arms outstretched, still looking for new words of yours we could repeat, eating some of your wisdom, and vomiting it as if it was ours to begin with. We wish you would write some more so we would know what to say. We wish we had closed the chapters you opened, done right by you, given you justice, and given ourselves rest.

Did you look forward to your mission being accomplished or did you think the battle for right over wrong never ended? Did you feel you had gone beyond anyone’s call of duty, or did you think the war was greater than you; that the only thing up to you was how much of your life you would give up for it?

Here we are six years later saying what we should have said the day before you died. Here we are knee deep in the mud of the trench you dug alone. The only thing we’re sure of is we are still here in the empty space you left behind.

All we can hope is we’re doing it right.