Isaac sits with the Shining Ones and eats from Dagda’s Cauldron. The mortal world is a poorer place without him.
There will never be another Isaac. Those of us who knew him well could easily think of him as just Isaac: Character, goofball, ladies man, punster, life of the party, pain in the neck, singer, priest, friend and ex-husband (in my case). But Isaac was so much more than that.
The press release gives you an inkling of his importance to the world. One of my favorite memorial posts comes from The Wild Hunt:
[The] vision of the ADF, written by Bonewits nearly thirty years ago, captures what was so vibrant and vital about him. The audacity of expecting excellence and success from himself, his coreligionists, and his peers.
“Audacity of expecting excellence”—O, yes, that’s Isaac.
I cannot begin to say how much I loved and love Isaac. As a husband, he drove me crazy. I don’t regret ending our marriage, and I know he was very happy with Phaedra, whom he married in 2004. He loved her very much and I am so happy he had that. Still, Isaac and I were married for ten years (1988–1998), and I’d qualify nine of those years as happy ones; only at the end did things break down, and our unhappiness was short-lived; we quickly became good friends.
Isaac was a wonderful, loving, proud father. He had a perverse sense of what made a good lullaby. Certainly, the baby slept better for him than for me, despite being sung to sleep with “The Internationale.” As Arthur grew, Isaac always treated him as an intelligent being and spoke to him with a rich vocabulary even when he was a toddler. In the end, it was Arthur caring for Isaac. I am proud of my son, and I know that Isaac was and is as well.
He was an extraordinary High Priest in the Craft, as well as a Druid. He had a unique ability to move energy. When he called the Gods, They came. I was already a High Priestess of the Craft, albeit a young one, when we began dating in 1986, but I consider that only half my training was done. The rest I learned from him. He was a gifted teacher, exploring the nuances of every aspect of ritual and worship. Elements of Ritual could not exist without Isaac’s influence.
What Isaac loved the most was serving the Pagan community. He loved a good fight, he loved to get down and argue, to make trouble, to stir the pot. And he did it, always, on behalf of the community. He did it to make the world better, and more Pagan, and to serve the Gods. His love of the Gods was always at the forefront of who he was. His service to the community, to the Gods, and to his work as a priest was in every decision he ever made.
In the end, I look at Isaac, and I look at someone who was fundamentally good. He was not without his flaws, but he was without moral blemish. Isaac was honest, kind, charitable, generous, forgiving to a fault, open to new ideas, tolerant, attentive, amiable, and selfless. I assure you, I have thought over every one of those adjectives carefully, and every one applies to almost every moment of Isaac’s life. I could list negatives if I wanted to, but none of them are moral failings. I believe, truly, that the Gods will look upon this man and embrace him as one of their own.
It was a privilege, Isaac. I hope we get to do it again.