Remarkable isn’t a word I typically use to describe a person. Especially someone I didn’t personally know. But over the last 50 years, I felt like I knew Betty White. She had that way about her. Her smile and that sparkle in her eyes.
It wasn’t just the sitcoms and the game shows. It was her personality, as much as her work. Her character that showed on her talk show appearances and in her support for animal causes.
When someone makes you smile, makes you laugh over decades, they become part of you. It doesn’t matter if it’s just minutes at a time – – the cumulative effect has an impact. She impacted me. And in such a way that I wasn’t aware of it consciously. It was at a much deeper level.
That’s the only way I can understand my tears when I heard she had died. But it wasn’t all sadness. It was a rainbow of emotions. I felt pride in her persevering through her life’s challenges, the death of the love of her life, and continuing to lighten our lives through humor. I felt proud that she could not possibly have done more with her life than she did. She lived passionately.
I felt happiness for her that she was with her beloved Allen again, as I believe she is. I felt appreciation for all the love she brought to the world in the way she expressed herself with positivity and in the way she worked to bring people together and lift people’s lives up with laughter. I felt love for this person who made my life better, who made me smile at times when I needed a distraction from my own life. Her work did this for me. And it continues to do this. A type of comfort food I can enjoy whenever I need it.
And I felt loss that this beautiful spirit was no longer on the same planet with me. She gave so much to us, just with her presence. Like a beacon of light guiding us to a kinder way to be.
But mostly, I feel more strongly the hugeness and brightness of her spirit. In my mind, when I wonder where Betty White is now, I see a massive, glowing, white ball of light. I don’t know what this means, except that it’s good. My tears are a spectrum of emotions and Betty made me feel them all. What more can be asked of anyone than to be their authentic self. Betty was authentic and that’s one of the many reasons, I believe, that she is so beloved and so missed. God bless you, Betty White!