My baby, you are supposed to have the most glorious Victorian Voodoo Viking funeral New Orleans has ever seen- your body, perfumed and afloat on a boat full of roses, set aflame on the Mississippi and set out to sea.
We should be keening and wailing at the gates of the city right now, rending clothes and gnashing teeth, the people in the tavern weeping, wild with sorrow, up all night, making bad decisions, forgiven.
If I could make my whole life an altar to your life, Glo, it wouldn’t be enough.
You made me want to be a better friend. You taught me how to be a good mom, a real mom: just be honest. Just tell the truth. Kids know.
A couple of months ago you came over, not for nothing, and took me to the market and bought me a bunch of herbs to make “Happy Heart Syrup to support your health through difficult emotional times” you never told me why. Maybe the part of you that is outside of time knew, and wanted to give us the recipe to help us through it, ever generous.
We should be performing ablutions in the French Broad, in ritual whites, Florida water and honey and eggs and cornmeal, marigolds and Saint John’s flowers.
We should be dancing. Playing hot dice. Singing love songs.
I keep saying I’m going to build a fire with you but I keep walking in circles and answering phone calls and looking at my phone. This world is upside down. My baby.
We should be making a giant pot of rice and beans with andouille, a giant pot of chicken and dumplings, a giant batch of fried chicken, a banging charcuterie board. I KNOW! We should be all together now.
You are a listener, a communicator, a conduit, electric. You are listening now. We will feed your spirit with cakes and bourbon, warm you with candles and fires and flambeaux. Read you poetry. Tell you a dirty joke. Make medicine. Be medicine. Be music. Be art. We are so fucking lucky. We are all aGlo now.
Gloria Jean Babcock, 56, International Mystery Mistress of Merrymaking, passed away unexpectedly in her home in Asheville, North Carolina on Sunday, March 22nd, 2020 due to a previously undiagnosed heart condition. Glo, as her friends and family called her, was born on June 15th, 1963 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Rose Marie (Hansen) Babcock and Albert Erven Babcock. She was the second youngest in a tight-knit family of 8. She graduated high school at West High School in Minneapolis. In 1995, in the Joshua Tree desert, she gave birth to the light of her life, Dumaine Joto Babcock. Glo worked in many capacities as an artist, entrepreneur, caregiver, performer, bartender, hairdresser, and ritual officiant, with Dumaine always as the sun at the center of her solar system, her family and family-of-friends the supportive planets in orbit.
Glo is preceded in death by her father, Albert, and her brother Thomas. She is survived by her beloved son Dumaine of Atlanta, GA, her Mother Rose Marie of Minneapolis, her siblings James Babcock, Bonita Hoffman, Marjorie Babcock, and Sharon McCabe, all of Minnesota, many nieces and nephews, the countless devoted friends whom she loved like family, and her beloved dog Olive.
Glo was a deeply spiritual person who imbued artfulness, sacredness, and magic into all aspects of her life, from officiating rituals, to cooking amazing meals, to crafting beautiful cocktails. She possessed a powerful, healing presence, though she was never too serious, nor did she take herself seriously. Her laughter, wit, and humor were incandescent, and she radiated joy into every space she occupied. A consummate artist, Glo loved to costume extravagantly, to sew and paint and decorate and adorn every surface and person within her reach. And Glo’s reach was wide. Her friendships spanned the continent and the globe, and she loved to travel to and with her many friends. Glo will be best remembered as one who nourished her loved ones deeply with her generosity of spirit and wisdom of life experience. Glo loved exuberantly and lived her life to the hilt with grace and beauty. She will be deeply missed.
A memorial fire and altar will be set up on Saturday, March 28th from 10am – 10pm at the corner of Washington Road and Broad Street in Downtown Asheville for Glo’s loved ones to pay respects, while observing the current necessary social distancing protocol.
Donations in Glo’s honor can be made to support Dumaine with Glo’s end-of-life arrangements here or by mail to 5 LaRue Street, Asheville, NC 28806.