I don't think we realise how much we define ourselves by those few people who are close to us, until they are gone. Bernard made more of a difference than most people ever will in the lives of the people he met. Now that he is gone, we are realising how much we depended on him to be there to tell us when we were doing something that we might end up regretting later, or when we were not considering all the possible factors that may influence whatever point we were working with, or when we were simply being downright dishonest with ourselves.
In a way, this was necessary so that we could actually take responsibility for ourselves and our thoughts - before we relied on Bernard to "set us straight" - we saw him as a point of stability for us that we could use whenever we didn't want to be the directive principle of our own lives and stabilize ourselves.
I have never met another person like him - he had this sense of absolute certainty - there was never any hesitation when you spoke to him, he always had a clear answer that made sense, either immediately or after discussion. How often will we meet someone like that? He took on the point of standing as a principle, which is rare enough, and lived as an example, always patient with you, always with a comprehensive understanding of where you were in your process and life. We relied on him too much. In that sense we almost forced him to die, so that we could actually take responsibility for ourselves. Was this preventable? Yes. Was it inevitable? Maybe.
There may not be another like him. We will spend our lives living up to the example he set: always put LIFE first. It is easy to die for a cause, it is difficult to live for one - to give up your self interest and act only in the best interests of all life. Bernard did this, he pushed so hard to make this life better that it ended up being the death of him. He literally gave all of himself. His every waking moment was spent in awareness of all the things in this life that need to change: the abuse, exploitation, dishonesty, suffering, war, cruelty, starvation, lack of parenting, lack of education.
We can never become like him, or "fill his shoes" - it is pointless to try to achieve the impossible. We each have different strengths - and weaknesses - and we each must develop ourselves and support each other to become the best we can be. We have everything we need - Bernard never planned to be the one to head any political movements - all along he was only laying the foundation, we must fill in the details and build the remaining 90% of the structure. His death does not change this. His death does not remove what we have already done. His death does not diminish our abilities. His death does not invalidate our principles. His death does not alter self forgiveness. Over the years he said the same things over and over - we have everything we need. Now we stand.