A Personal Remembrance of Tom Hayden

We came together as adult men, figuring out how to have a friendship. And now my very dear friend has died.

His divorce from Jane Fonda opened up his heart and soul, and from the pain, our mutual wounds and our isolation, we built a long-lasting and ever-deepening friendship. The relationship with Jane turned from the hurt of divorce to wonderful co-parenting and deep caring between them.

He had read more books than any person, ever.

He consumed ideas with a passion until the very end.

The pain allowed us to go to places of emotion and intimacy that otherwise would have been walled off.

Over the years, we shared thoughts and feelings, ideas and emotion about life, family, children, love and all in between.

I was with him as he grieved the divorce, as he struggled hard to find himself, and then, when he found Barbara, I was with him to celebrate the joys of romance, the challenges of marriage. We found ways to talk about what it meant to love a wife, deeply, long term.

And his children—his tremendous pride and joy in all things, Troy.

Then we shared adoption stories (and a lawyer who arranged adoptions).

And wonderful Liam, who lit up his very being.

And toward the end, as he weakened and fought and fought to stay alive, he shared his worries, concerns, and his deep appreciation of Barbara, Troy and Liam.

He made a mark in so many ways, big and small.

At what turned out to be his final birthday party, the people who spoke of his impact on their lives, so many people, from so many different paths….sharing a common bond to his humanity, his love, his impact and his giving.

Be well, my dear friend.


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