Today is a sad day.  We lost someone with a big, good heart who always gave himself one hundred per cent to whatever and whomever he believed in...but we lost him lonely and frozen-out.  Frank Alexander was Tupac's bodyguard and, in all the years I've known him, he was thoroughly discreet and professional towards me. He was a total patriot, sentimental to a fault, a real sweetheart and a long-serving Marine.  He was devoted to Pac and anyone who doubts that never knew either Frank or Pac. He never fully recovered from Pac's death or his sense of responsibility - no matter what he said. He was a really, really sensitive guy who loved his two cats and cared for his friends deeply. When his best friend, Billy, from the Marines died aged 52 in 2012, he was totally gutted and determined to make a film about the poor diagnosis systems for cancer. Billy wasn't a celebrity. That was Frank. It wasn't about the money - it was about showing he cared and trying to do right by his friends. Justice was so important to Frank.

I disagreed with Frank about a lot of things: about who ordered the assassination of Tupac, about Suge, about Death Row, about the police, about lots and lots of things.  I felt he was passionate but misguided, misrepresented and maligned. I refused to collaborate with him on any of his Tupac projects.  But we were still good friends. He would call me if he wanted to hear a joke or laugh. We shared a very real faith and I was one of many recipients of his daily Word and inspiring, encouraging spiritual messages he'd email out.  Some of them had profound effects, not only on me but on my family and friends.  He knew I loved painting so would send pictures too.  He was ridiculously sentimental, a total teddy bear. He kept everything! He had an Elvis shrine, a Tupac shrine,  all trinkets and trophies of the ones he loved, including his mother.  He had so much of Pac's stuff, a copy of 'Live To Tell', photos galore. He just couldn't let go of the past and it dragged his future from him.  He loved his job but his commitment to getting justice for Tupac detracted him from his real career. On top of that, he became frozen out from many of Tupac's 'associates' and this really hurt and wounded him. When you lose someone you love, you miss them terribly but then to be 'sent to Coventry' or ignored, cast as 'irrelevant' or 'batty' or 'toxic' by others, is a far, far worse form of bullying than anything physical or verbal.

When I last spoke to Frank a few months ago, he was sad but not depressed. Our last email was last week. We were planning to meet up and he always kept his word. When he had said he was going to visit England and Amsterdam, sure enough, twelve months later he made his first (and last) trip over there. He had to book time off work a week in advance so he always kept appointments. He was very thorough and considerate in all his friendships, just as he was in his work. He loved outings, events, holidays, meeting up with friends and family.  But the past seven months he was definitely withdrawing from the circus and closing up.

Tupac included EVERYONE, EVERYONE - even his enemies knew the lines were open! Tupac wouldn't know HOW to freeze anyone out.  I question anyone who claims to have known/been related to Tupac who can just freeze or ignore a person like that - did they really know Pac's heart? So what if Frank was misguided -  his intentions were always good and he was just trying to make things right. He didn't realise the true dirtiness of what had gone on and that in itself tells you something about the man, why it led him where it did. Does it really matter anymore about proving something right? I think most people now know what went on - whether it's ever made official or not. Frank put his neck, his life, his money on the line to try and make it official. I know no one else who has made as much effort.

A few hours ago, Frank was in the land of the living and no one reached out to him - including me.  Today was a wake -up call to me too. I don't want to be one of those bullies who freeze people out and act like they have some superior knowledge of Tupac, of the universe, of hip hop, of garden gnomes....who really cares?  I don't want to be a survivor who has forgotten how to be a human being.  

Be kind. Go out of your way. Who cares if you get hurt? What they say? Life is too short to be mean. 

This was one of the pictures Frank sent he's got his own horse. Free at last, Frank. You served to the end.

Rest with your Lord. April 29th 2013

This pic hung in Frank's dining room: