I will call the friend of mine who commissioned that picture Fluttershy. They posted it shortly before they killed themselves in early March. They weren't the easiest person to help, but I should have done more than I did. By the end, they were pretty isolated and I was one of the last people they were in contact with.
I will never talk to Fluttershy again, at least not during this age of the world. Looking back it is clear they were always trying to find a way to help me out. Multiple times they gave me the help or advice I needed. They are the person I originally got estrogen from. They were my friend and I miss them so much.
Fluttershy made a lot of mistakes. But it's a harsh world. It is an especially harsh world if you are the type of person to commission fanart of a My Little Pony character freeing chickens. I can understand why they couldn't handle it. Fluttershy was in a lot of pain and hated parts of themselves. I am happy that they are no longer suffering so much. I would never try to stop someone who was determined to commit suicide. But I think things could have been different.
Fluttershy needed someone who believed in them. If you are in a negative spiral it is very hard to get out by yourself. Once things are bad it is easy to alienate your friends. And once you lose support things get even worse. This leads to even worse relationships. Someone else has to put in the free energy to reverse the spiral.
Even in Fluttershy's darkest moments, they thought about helping the least among us. No one was willing and able to help Fluttershy become the hero they wanted to be. I have many, many regrets from my time in California. But chief among them is not making a heroic effort to put Fluttershy on a better path.
I ordered a decent quality print and hung it in my living room. I personally find the idea of the character Fluttershy releasing chickens delightful. But the reason I put up the picture is to remind myself that Fluttershy is gone and we are still here. Whatever heroics Fluttershy wanted to do are left to us. But it's also a reminder to me personally: to do better next time and to keep dreaming of a kinder world.
There is a lot more that could be said. I really don't want to write a post remembering Fluttershy that leaves out so much of who they were and the struggles they faced. Given Fluttershy's stated preferences, I think it is important to exercise the virtue of silence. But I want to present one more aspect of Fluttershy. They always encouraged people to think bigger. It seemed to me they often took this position way too far. We argued about this topic a lot. But Fluttershy has a point. The world needs saving and someone has to save it. At least really try to have a gigantic impact. However big you are thinking, try to go bigger. A lot of value is in the tail.
I will end this by saying I am sorry:
I'm so sorry Fluttershy. I was one of the few people in a position to help and I let you down. Now the world has one less person who dreams of every sweet little chicken being safe and free. And I am left one friend lonelier. I will try to do better next time and continue the work in your absence. I miss you. See you space pony, the rest of us will carry that weight.
This is a really touching tribute. I'm so sorry.
Thank you. This was the impetus that I needed to contact my own Fluttershy again, hopefully before it's too late.
What cannot be repaid must be passed on.
Hopefully you'll see yours again in the Matrioshka Brain.
I’ve know two people who committed suicide. As I’m writing this I realize I almost blocked out one of them.
I would have written something similar if I had. Thank you for putting words to what you’re feeling.
I don’t want to cheapen this tribute, but I remember this podcast from like 10 years ago and is still maybe one of the few relevant things I’ve heard about suicide.