It’s a shame we had to meet this way, Aaliyah.
Today, I stood among your many fans honoring your life, mourning your death, and praying for your eternal rest. You probably had no idea how many lives you’d touched. Fans from all walks of life gathered together in your name. Young women who eerily resembled you, stood tearfully beneath your tomb knowing that was the closest they’ve ever come to you; and the closest they ever will.
Young men placed flowers beneath you still in disbelief that their dream woman won’t be marrying them. T-shirts, hats and even tattoos of your image graced the crowd adding a face to your obvious presence. We all carried a piece of your memorial to the outside where a service was held in your name and tears watered the lawn of your final resting place. All of the flowers, cards, and letters were donated to your family in the hopes of comforting them with love from all across the country.
Your music was felt through the stereos of your fans’ cars and through their headphones as they boarded their trains and buses back home. But you knew this already. We felt you there, in the glorious sunshine, in the perfect weather, and in the eyes and hearts of every person who gathered to honor you two years later.
You were more than a musician, more than an actress; and you said it yourself, more than a woman. You were and still are a movement, Aaliyah. You gave girls a reason to be proud, and boys a reason to raise their standards. Your name will never be forgotten, and your music will always be legendary. I write this as your peer and as your fan: God bless your life and memory.
Babygirl, and it was a pleasure to have met you today.
-kathy iandoli 8.25.03