Lynn Shelton, Filmmaker, 1965-2020

I find myself surprisingly affected by the death of Lynn Shelton (filmmaker), but through my empathy with Marc Maron who she was dating. Let me explain.

This is not meant in any way to discount her work or achievements, it’s simply that I didn’t know her name until she started dating Marc Maron because I listen to his WTF podcast. I’ve literally spent hundreds and hundreds of hours listening to him. Getting to know him through his interviews. I watched his last comedy special with Lynn directed. I’ve heard him go through several relationships. I’ve been so pissed at his immature, condescending, judgmental attitude that I considered not listening to his podcast any more.

When you spend that much time, even just listening to someone, someone who puts a lot of themselves genuinely into what they do, I do believe you “get to know them” as absurd as that may sound. Sure he could be a dick, but mostly he seems like a good-hearted, intelligent, empathetic guy who has been through a lot of shit and is self-aware enough to have made a lot of improvements and seems to endeavor to be a better person every day, which is the best any of us can do.

I remember when their relationship first started. I’ve listened to him talk about her. I’ve heard her in the background or pop in to an intro to say something. I’ve heard stories about them or her being in the other room. About her work, her movies.

I don’t think I realized how much personal connection I felt to Marc Maron, and by proxy to my “friend’s” new girlfriend until I saw the headline today and felt gut punched. For someone I barely knew, via someone I only virtually know. But I felt (some infinitesimal speck of) his pain. I couldn’t imagine what he must be going through. I wrote him a personal email, composing the best, most comforting words I could put together. They seemed happy (and were according to the statement he released). In these crazy times, it was even crazier that it was in no way related to COVID-19 but was some previously undiagnosed blood disease, I’ve read. I know how much it hurts to simply lose someone in a breakup, but I can’t imagine that kind of loss of someone you love. And if you personally know this pain, you have my love as well. Many hours later, I still find myself taking a walk and thinking about it.

As I wrote to him, and as I have written to many of you in times of pain (I hate to sound repetitive or trite but I just can find no better words and they really do bring me some degree of peace), in times like these I like go to science and the Law of Conservation of Energy which states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only change forms. And what are we all, our souls, our consciousness, if not energy in some form. It will never cease to exist, it will only change forms.

And if I had to pick one line to sum up life to me it would be this:

“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

-The Beatles “The End”

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