Sidney Poitier’s daughter posted an emotional and lengthy tribute to her dad after his death at the age of94 last week.
This pioneering actor, diplomat and humanitarian was first to be awarded best actor Oscars.
Sydney Poitier wrote a touching tribute to her father on Instagram. It was 800 words long.
She wrote, “But I want people to really know how good he was.”
She is being remembered alongside other giants in American life, including Oprah Winfrey, former President Barack Obama and Viola Davis.
Sydney Poitier’s full tribute
These are the only words that can describe it. There is no way to prepare. My dad’s essence is captured in his words and prose.
His accomplishments were numerous and he changed everything for all who followed him.
So that those who came behind him would have more comfort, he made a trail through difficult and hostile terrain. The people who claimed this mountain belonged to them and only they would have known that it was ours. It was our mountain, too. We were going and we would stay.
We are all aware of how gentle and intelligent he was. His strength in character and his moral courage were amazing. What I want to convey is his goodness.
People know that he is good but they don’t know how deep his goodness was. It permeated all of his cells. It was this kind of goodness that kept him from even killing the smallest of insects. None. Because of him, I can remove a spider using a shotglass and a piece paper.
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His deep love for all things was matched by a profound awareness of the interconnectedness of everything. On a cell level, he knew that anyone and everyone would be hurt if he did wrong.
Everybody who came across his path was treated as equals and he offered his complete presence. He was good.
It is not only because of the loss of my father, it’s also because so many good things have been lost. He was warm, bright and a beacon of light. He was unfalteringly shining his light, no matter what the weather brought. All of us, who had been floundering in dark waters, could still orient ourselves towards him and swim to the shores.
His health declined over time, his communication abilities deteriorated and his body began to fail him. However, his heart was still full of goodness. In fact it grew even greater. Through the smallest gestures, it radiated out from him, in his eyes and smile.
Anika, my sister and I used to go see him every chance we got. It was just to be with him, to have his hand and tell him about the funny thing a child said that day. Because they live far away, we often could call our sister sisters via FaceTime.
He would be grateful to the wonderful women who took care of him. He would still be charming and flirtatious even in the most fragile of physical conditions if they came in as many times as possible.
He thought that we would take care of him. It is clear now that he was taking care of us. He reminded us of the power and goodness of good, especially in uncertain times. Even though the body may be deteriorating and the world seems to be crumbling around it, there is still goodness.
It can be unbearable to feel the loss of him. My daughter cannot leap on his bed to wrap her arms around him. My inability to lay down on his shoulders and experience the safety and anchoring that he provided for me. He will not sit at the top of the Christmas or Thanksgiving table and bring his laughter into the home.
Then I realize that his goodness is still alive, even though he has passed away. His wife, his children and grandchildren carry his goodness.
His kindness changed the world. It will never end. You will be missed more than any words could express, Dad. You will be there for me in the heat of the sun, the breeze in the trees, and the way I look among the stars. Your love is my greatest gift.
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