While working on August: Osage County, Misty Upham befriended co-star Juliette Lewis, and the accomplished actress and musician has been the loudest voice in Hollywood as the saga of Misty's death has unfolded. Last week, Lewis told her Twitter followers "My friend is missing!"—and then, after Upham's body was discovered and identified, offered her opinion on the situation in no uncertain terms. "This is not a suicide," she said.
Lewis has sent her own sort of memorial service out to her fans, and Misty's, using her Instagram page. Taken together, it's a touching eulogy and reading, with musical accompaniment.
"Since I am away working, I am holding my own 'memorial' for Misty," Lewis wrote. "This is the song I'd play. RIPMistyUpham #MistyUphamMemorial Brian Eno's 'Tiger Mountain'"
In another post, Lewis shared her own thoughts on her friend:
"#MistyUphamMemorial Misty exemplified the true power resiliance and artistry of the human spirit. She lived through unspeakable violence. Yet she was aware of her own power. Had her own belief system. She did not fear death. She'd grown up knowing its hungry eyes well. And spoke freely of this. One of our last conversations was about this very topic. She had a defiance that could work for and against her. Anyone who knew her knew of her history. Her fractured emotional psyche. Her past trauma. She would readily tell you. She knew voicing things that were meant to break you was the only way to conquer the pain and past of it. Own your history. She also didnt mind making people uncomfortable. Which I adore. And by hell or heaven she'd earned that right. It was her badge and might. The things she's lived through.. Because she understood pain and suffering she could read and heal it in others. She did energy work. She prayed for you. Laid hands on you. Cast out your own spiritual friction. She laughed too when you thought you had troubles. She understood them but knew well you could get through them. The way she had. Even if at times haunted.. Her Artistry was the gift she left all of us. See August Osage County or Frozen River if you'd like to know her this way. She was an incredible Actor. This is where her power and beauty shown through in its purest form. A stillness and focus that was all knowing all pervasive. Her presence was majestic like a wide open landscape connected to the heavens, expansive and formidable. There was a reason she was THE Native American actress to go to in her all too short career of 8 yrs. She would have loved all the attention, interest and LOVE she is being shown in her passing by all who had the privilege of working with her, knowing her or being an admirer of her work. She's a strong soul. I have no doubt she'll find her way. I love you Misty. And I will not live in my regrets. I will honor your path. Accept what I can not control. And surrender it to the universe. Thank you for being the healing hand and steady guide you have been for many. And God Bless u for all you had to endure to show us how brightly you could shine. JL"
In a third post, she wrote that "this is the poem I'd read if I could attend Misty's memorial." The work is "Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep" by Mary Elizabeth Frye:
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle Autumn rain.
As you awake with morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there I did not die.
Lewis added, "Her family always lived humbly. She did everything she could to try and take care of them. PLZ DONATE EVEN A DOLLAR to her family's memorial fund fundly.com/misty-upham-memorial"