Sir Sidney Poitier dies at the age of 94
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Sydney is one of six daughters Sidney Poitier has left bereft since his death last week at the age of 94. She was overcome by the legacy her Oscar-winning father had left behind and his accomplishments – not just in the world of film, but also in politics, anti-racism, and in his kindness for all living beings.
The world lost so much goodness
Sidney was well-known for breaking racial boundaries and for his passionate commitment to equality.
However, his daughter has now revealed that his respect went beyond humankind – and that he would not hurt even a fly.
“[He had] the sort of goodness that prevented him from killing even the tiniest of bugs. NOT A ONE!” she wrote.
“He had a true reverence for all life, and a true awareness of our interconnectedness. He knew on a cellular level that if he hurt anyone or anything, he hurt everyone and everything.
“He treated anyone who crossed his path as his equal and offered them his full presence. He was GOOD.”
Sydney shared her admiration for her father’s humanity in a series of Instagram slides captioned: “What I want you to know about my beautiful Dad.”
The cover image showed a photo of her embracing him, with a grinning Sidney looking away from the camera modestly during his daughter’s display of tender devotion.
Talking of his achievements, which include becoming the first black person and Bahamian ever to win the Academy Award for Best Actor, she added: “We know his accomplishments are many and that he quite literally changed the landscape for everyone who came after him.
“He blazed a trail through rough and hostile terrain so those coming behind him could have a bit more ease on the journey.
“So the people that claimed that this mountain was theirs and theirs alone would know that we belonged. That it was indeed our mountain too. That we were coming and that we were staying.”
While she declared that there was “no speech eloquent enough to capture the essence of my dad”, her poetic recollections of him certainly conveyed a warm and loving relationship between them.
She explained, however, that her grief was not solely about losing her father, as it had also dawned on her that “the world lost so much goodness”.
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“He was like a lighthouse. Warm and bright. No matter the storms whipping around him, he stood unwavering shining his light.
“No matter the storms whipping around him, he stood unwavering shining his light.
‘Those of us who were flailing in the dark waters could always orient towards him and swim for the shores.”
However, she told of her grief when the passage of time meant “his body grew weaker and his ability to communicate failed him”.
“We thought we were taking care of him [but] I see now that the truth is he was still taking care of us,” she reflected of his twilight years.
“He was reminding us, particularly in these uncertain times, of the power of GOODNESS. That even when the body is fading and things seem to be falling apart around us, the goodness remains.
“The pain of losing him seems unbearable at times…that I can’t lay my head on his shoulder and feel the anchoring safety he brought to my life. That he will never sit at the head of the table at Thanksgiving or Christmas and FILL the house with healing laughter.”
She also commented: “Even when the body is fading and things seem to be falling apart around us, the goodness remains.”
Her full speech can be found at her Instagram account, @sydneypoitierheartsong.
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