01 May 2013

Remembering a Vegan Warrior

In loving remembrance of a beautiful soul who has left this earth to continue his journey in another form...

Bud Burdick passed on Saturday, April 27th surrounded by family and friends in his Brooklyn home, after a bravely fought 10 month battle against Leukemia.

The first time I met Bud we were at a vegan potluck garden party at a backyard in NYC. I think we were both new to the city at the time, and so we each met many new faces that day. But his face lit up when we realized we were both from upstate NY, and we quickly shared our 'how did you become vegan?' stories, and bonded immediately. I will never forget the impression he made on me that very first day. Within 10 minutes of talking, I learned that this athletic, charismatic guy from Rochester was so much more than just another face. He was full of love, light, compassion and a beautiful energy that felt so inspiring to be around. I will remember his smile; a smile that radiated through IV lines and hospital walls. A smile that emanated pure joy. A smile that taught me deeper levels of compassion, acceptance, gratitude and love. 

His friends and family have asked that anyone who knows Bud share a 'What Would Bud Do' story, in loving tribute to him. For me, this is a simple question to answer: 

What would Bud do? He would show up everywhere with a smile of pure joy. He would find the good in every situation. He would bring light and love wherever he was. While battling leukemia, he would walk the hospital corridors, using them as a track to stay active. Then when he was isolated to his room due to precautions to protect his compromised immune system, he would do pull ups from the shower rod, bedside Bakasanas with an IV line attached, and keep an ever present smile through it all, even taking the time to post self portrait photos of his hospital workout routine on FB to inspire others. He called it the Roosevelt Hotel, and his room was his gym. When I would go visit him, he would compliment me on my hair, as his hair was falling out. When I left NYC, he would text me from his hospital bed to see how I was settling in to my new home in Miami. At a time when most people would be the epitome of selfish, he remained selfless and giving. That's what Bud would do.

It's very difficult to come to terms with the fact that a soul as beautiful as Bud's had such a limited time on this earth. He had so much more to teach, to give, and to inspire. In tribute to him and his legacy, Bud's family and friends are asking that all who can, will support Bud's favorite cause and go Vegan for the month of May. This will be an annual event in honor of Bud Burdick. In this vein, his legacy and his lessons will continue to live.

Please take the 6 minutes out of your day to watch this tribute to Bud it in its entirety. Let his love, compassion and his amazingly positive energy fuel your day, and your life, with kindness and gratitude...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06pZaF5ULBI

Even when the teacher is gone, the lessons live on....Thank you for lessons Bud Burdick. Rest in peace my friend. The world is a better place for the brief time you spent here with us.

Lori Zito | @LoriZito
Lori is an animal-loving, life-loving vegan who is passionate about spreading the message of better health through a vegan diet. She works as a certified holistic health and nutrition coach, a yoga instructor, and a physical therapist. Learn more at her website Live In The Balance and follow her on Facebook.