Tonight, millions of people will tune in to watch Descendants 3, the eagerly awaited final film of the beloved Disney trilogy.
Tonight was supposed to be a celebration of so much… four years of a story that captured the imaginations of people across the globe, five years of love and friendship and creative collaboration for everyone who helped create that story.
And we do celebrate. But it is different than we expected.
Cameron Boyce’s sudden and tragic death from an epileptic seizure just a few weeks ago has changed the way we feel about all of it.
It feels impossible that Cameron is not here with us, and yet somehow it is true. And the tenor of Descendants, and for some of us, our very lives, has changed.
Cameron’s twenty years were too brief, and he left everyone he touched changed by his beautiful heart and mind. He was an incredible talent, but it was his spirit and the way he lived in the world—his wisdom and generosity—that put him apart from so many other successful young artists. His selflessness was extraordinary.
I talk frequently about the importance of believing in your dreams. However in the end, I don’t think it matters whether a person achieves their dreams if they lose their soul in the process. Cameron was that rare person who used his work to practice being an extraordinary human, and then used his resulting platform to make the world a better place.
Like many people, when I allow myself to stay present to the fragility of life, I can feel paralyzed. So instead I live blindered, just to be able to function. The prospect of losing the ones I love so much is too shattering to contemplate.
Cameron’s passing ripped the blinders off… not for the first time and not for the last. I’ve been looking for the gift in all the pain we are feeling, and I think if there is one, it is to double down, and try to live like Cameron did. To make the world better as we pursue our various dreams. This is a path all of us can walk, regardless of the details of our lives.
We have also donated to The Cameron Boyce Foundation, the nonprofit that his parents, Victor and Libby Boyce set up to honor his legacy, and we will continue to support it over time. The Cameron Boyce Foundation provides young people artistic and creative outlets as alternatives to violence and negativity and uses resources and philanthropy for positive change in the world.
So we celebrate Cameron tonight. Cameron brought so much love and joy to our lives and to the world, and he will continue to, through the work he did that will continue to bring love and joy to millions, and through the work he began that we will now continue.
And we move forward together, reminded of the fragility and preciousness of life. As my friend, and Cameron’s father, Victor Boyce said this week, “Hold on tightly to your loved ones. I’m forever grateful that I did.”