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By Kurt Ewen (shared on his behalf)

Diagnosed with ALS 2/24/21

Passed from ALS 10/21/23

As a child I learned to wear masks. 

Actual masks were for fun / candy, others offered protection from feelings I couldn’t share. 

Actual masks had a place in time each year, but I left them behind with childhood.

As I matured protective unseen-masks concealed me within a persona known to the world.  

Over time my masks became like camouflage requiring help for me to name them.

Naming a mask can help determine their origin but risks concealing the reach of their effect. 

As an adult my masks are versatile fashion choices tailored to the setting and the person/group. 

Masks conceal vulnerabilities risking authenticity while becoming raw material for success or ...   

A “new” mask has appeared in my wardrobe born of the dumpster-fire of dreams that is ALS.

The mask allows me to publicly reveal challenges with humor, concealing grief I’d rather forget.

Like all protective masks this mask offers escape from feelings most will never know I have -

shielding me from my future and the distance of those “living” with feelings they can’t share.

Not for nothing, the masks for fun and candy have been underrated by people like me!

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