<$BlogRSDUrl$> The Cyberactivist

Behind the scenes of the fight for the protection of animals and workers and the preservation of the environment - my experiences as a Tyson slaughterhouse hanger/killer turned activist. Exposing the evils of factory farming, by Virgil Butler. If you have arrived here looking for the Tyson stories, view the early archives. Some of them are now featured on the sidebar for easy searching.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Update and a thank you---- 

First off, I want to thank all of the people who have left comments here, emailed me, and especially the close friends who have called. This has been so hard, so terrible, that I just don't think I could have handled it without the support I have gotten from so many caring people. I really do thank you all from the bottom of my heart for you kindness and concern.

Virgil used to say that I was the best thing that ever happened to him - well, I feel like he was the best thing that ever happened to me. We were so lucky to have found each other and had the kind of relationship we shared. Few people ever find that kind of love - that depth of love where you share everything about yourself. And I do mean everything - even the deepest, darkest secrets you have always kept to yourself your whole life. We told it all to each other and loved each other not in spite of, but because of, those things. Because all of those things were what made us who we really were. I loved Virgil unconditionally and whole-heartedly and always will. I knew things about him that he had never told a single, solitary soul, and he knew the same about me. That's so rare these days. Probably always has been. But, oh, is it special!

Unfortunately, it also makes it harder to let go and lose one another, especially so young. It also means that since he was "the one," there will never be another for me. It wouldn't even be fair for me to try if I wanted to, which I don't. I could never have that kind of relationship with anyone else because they would not be him. I will always have friends, but I will never love another the way I loved him. This also unfortunately means that my life will be so much harder than it already has been because I simply cannot do everything I need to do to take care of myself anymore since I became so disabled. There are a number of things I needed to have a man around to do. Like, I can't run a chainsaw and cut the firewood I need to heat my home (yet can't afford to buy it, either). I can't unload 50 lb. bags of dog food out of the car when I get home. I certainly can't finish building this house we started building together. I have done quite a bit of damage to myself even trying. I didn't realize how much until recently when I couldn't do even a fraction of what I could when we started. I always knew I was going against the doctor's orders, but I never realized how much damage I was doing, and now it is too late to do anything about it. I'll manage some way. I really don't have much choice. I have to have a home, and it's cold right now without all of the insulation, and I dream of having my sink hooked up in the kitchen and hot water and stairs instead of cinder blocks to get up on the porch or a ladder to have to climb up into the loft and.....I have family and a few friends, but it will sure take a whole lot longer, and it surely won't be the same as it would be if we were still doing this together as a team like we did everything else in our life.

And there is so much of him here in this place. He is in every board because he cut the logs that the lumber came from. He was part of the decision-making process in the design stage, and the place is designed for him to be here. Two long closets up in the loft, one on each side of the room, along with two sets of drawers that go on each side of the bed. Everything is in pairs. Our coffee mugs, our place mats, even some of our hats and outfits. I just can't imagine a life spent without him being in it. We were supposed to grow old together and sit on our porch in our rocking chairs and tell our grandchildren what interesting lives we had led, showing them all of the articles and interviews and such, sharing what we had accomplished and what we had learned. We wanted them to learn that one person can indeed make a difference in this world. That every single choice a person makes matters in shaping the kind of reality that becomes your future.

Now, it will just be me. And, I don't intend to stop doing what I do and being who I am. I couldn't if I wanted to. Believe me because part of me has tried. Like, this morning, I wanted to just curl up in a ball and not get out of the bed and face the world, but I couldn't. I got up, fed the animals, got my coffee, and started my day. It has been a really hard one, too. Maybe the hardest yet. I won't go into why, as some of what I am going through is just a bit too private for posting here. I may be able to talk more about it at some point, but right now everything is just too raw.

Anyway, enough of the pity party. On to the rest of this post. I promised an update, and I intend to give it to you.

I have been asked about funeral arrangements, so here they are for anyone who cares.

The "viewing" will be held tomorrow, the 19th, at Beasley Wood Funeral Home at 611 Janssen St. in Mena, AR from 6:00-8:00, and the funeral will be Wednesday at 2:00 at
Hilltop Church in Cove, AR (just south of Mena). I know that the vast majority of people who read this will not be there, but perhaps during those times you can hold Virgil in your heart for a moment or so and wish him peace. And, if I may ask, hold me in your hearts for a moment, too, and lend me a bit of strength to deal with all of that, especially since this is not what he wanted done. I won't go into that, either, as I don't wish any more pain on his mother than she is already going through. If this is what she needs to do to deal with this, then so be it. His body is just a shell anyway - his spirit isn't in it anymore. I can't imagine how it feels to lose a son. But I do know now how hard it is to lose the person you planned to spend the rest of your life with and the only person in the world who truly knew you and loved you for who you really are.

It hurts.

A lot.

Sorry, gotta go now. I've done all I can handle for one day. Those of you who have written me personally, I will get back to you individually when I can. I can only handle so much at once. But, I have read every word sent. Thank you all again.

Peace and love and light to you all-----


Friday, December 15, 2006


This is Laura writing, and I have bad news for you. Today, 12-15-06, Virgil Butler was found dead.

That's all I have to say publicly at this time other than to convey his wish that anyone who wishes to do so may use the words written here to keep fighting the fight against the scourge of cruelty and the greed that causes it that Virgil spent the last part of his life in fighting. I will not stop doing the vital work we were doing together, though I will indeed miss him terribly. He was my best friend, my soul mate, and the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, growing old together in this house we are still building (well, I guess it's just me now, though, building it alone, isn't it?), and devoting the rest of our lives to making this a better and more peaceful world.

He will be so very greatly missed. He had a hard life and a tortured spirit, shone brightly for too short of a time, but now is finally at peace.

I loved him with all of my heart.

Goodbye, Virgil. Rest now, you very special man. There will be no other one like you. You touched many lives - mine so very much - and I will never forget you. I will keep trying to fight the fight without you by my side, though I cannot imagine doing that right now. This place will always be the sanctuary it was for you and the all of the many others who have come here hurting, especially the many lost and abused animals - a place of healing and love and peace.

I will always love you.

Goodbye, Babes.

Posted by: # Virgil / 12:21 PM 22 comments

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