I am rarely at a loss for words, but at this moment I struggle to find the best way to express my sadness.
Candice, Candida Royalle, passed away early this morning. She was only 64. I met Candice several years ago when I asked to interview her for the film Inside Her Sex: documentary film – she was gracious and giving and funny and energetic. I approached her again, hoping to capture more of her stories, of her spirit.
In February 2014, we spoke and she asked if I would help her tell her story….we started, together to work on While You Were Gone: The Untold Story of Candida Royalle…and in a very short space of time we covered a lot of ground. I had the privilege of going to St. Louis with her to meet the brother she hadn’t seen for 62 years…to be witness to that meeting. We visited the grave of her birth mother…we explored old neighborhoods she lived in. I spent time in her home, and we talked and talked.
Candice was tenacious, energetic, charming, engaging, passionate, driven, opinionated (and I mean that as a positive) – she had an unparalleled drive. Although we clashed because we share some of the same attributes, I deeply respected her and admired her for so many reasons. She was fierce and brave, very brave.
I know she was scared of passing away and I hope, deeply and sincerely, that she has been held in that journey by those who went before her.
Rest in peace dear Candice. I hold you in the highest esteem and I will miss you.
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With much love. Sheona x