ABOUT GLENDON-TYLER ASHMON
“Who am I
Am I just a boy
Disguised as a man
Locked deep inside
Afraid of the light”
Glendon-Tyler Ashmon was born on March 22, 1987, in Chicago Illinois to Robert & Renee Ashmon. The third of three children (Yvette LaVerne Thompson & Robert Leonard Ashmon II), Glendon-Tyler was a beautiful, bright-eyed young man, always learning & always questioning, taking pride in forging his own path, wherever that path would lead. He attended Phillip A Randolph Elementary, Beasley Academic Center, Whitney M. Young Magnet High School (a place where he would acquire the vast amount of his friends & chosen family) and Columbia College.
As Glendon-Tyler got older, he would pursue many career options: Designer, Event Planning & Management, Wedding Stylist, Artistic Curator & a self-proclaimed “Pop Culture Historian”. However, his working passion landed him in the lap of the Hospitality Industry where he held many positions with over a dozen different restaurateurs, entertainment/experience venues & organizations. Glendon-Tyler was a world-class problem-solver, helming his gift of human connection & careful acknowledgement of people’s needs. These skills would take him across the country and allow him admission into rooms that any normal person would only dream of entering.
Known for being the smallest in stature but the biggest personality in the room, Glendon-Tyler had a natural inclination for bettering every environment he found himself in. Easily the life of any party, he made a friend of everyone he encountered, from the highest official to the lowliest individual. Glendon-Tyler valued human connection over everything, and despite the breadth & depth of his reach into numerous social circles, he’d speak of feeling unsure who was sincerely or conditionally with him. Even into the days before his transition to the spiritual realm, he spent much of his time writing down his thoughts, trying to figure out how to thrive in the midst of surviving:
Glendon-Tyler often felt like a burden to many people & allowed every encounter to reinforce his reality of singularity, even when dealing with the most convoluted of situations. Openness for him was a difficulty but loyalty never was. Knowing Loyalty was knowing Glendon-Tyler. If you were true to him, he remained true to you, even into his final days.
On Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 5:15pm EST, Heaven gained the esteemed honor of receiving a highly sought-after & well-loved Glendon-Tyler Ashmon into its warm embrace. Although deeply devastating & felt to be way too soon, he’s left a world of individuals celebrating his passage through their lives. He had a deep desire to impact the world in a way that would better humanity, society, or just his inner circle. It’s safe to say that Glendon-Tyler Ashmon fulfilled his deepest desire & will continue to stay with us all forever.
“I seek the freedom I once had. I want desperately to incorporate that freedom with my maturity. Maturity often feels like a responsibility to impact and reception over authenticity and freedom. I can never tell what it is that I’m afraid of showing people. I’m not even sure it’s fear. It’s desperation. I need to dedicate my energy to survival. My survival is based on acceptance and that acceptance feels so conditional.”
-Glendon-Tyler Ashmon, September 2020
My Final Letter to You
“Are you sure this isn’t a dream?” You asked me… The last question you asked me the day before it happened. The last question you ever asked me... You were having the strongest Déjà vu about the entire situation… That things that were happening had happened the exact same way before. Conversations that were happening HAD happened… We both chalked it up to being a repeat of past days. You’d been in the hospital so much over time that it could have happened at any time…
But, you asked me for certainty: “Are you sure this isn’t a dream?”
My response to that question: “I’d like to hope so… and if we all wake up tomorrow and this has been a crazy sci-fi fever dream, I thank you for including me.”
Since the moment you asked me... I keep asking myself the same question: “Are you sure this isn’t a dream?” Cause I really just wanna wake up and all that I’ve experienced in this reality to be gone… Unfortunately, it’s all tattooed on my mind… I cannot shake it loose:
Those people, with their masks & gowns, gloves, face shields & instruments… somber, tired faces & clinical yet care-filled words… They said you knew I was there… and I could talk to you… cause you knew I was there….and all I’ve been doing since Tuesday, October 6th at 5:15pm is hoping it was true. Hoping that you could hear me while I talked, read & sang to you. (I know how you felt about serenades but it was our song so I couldn’t help it.) Deep inside, I believe it… Though I had no visual evidence, I knew you knew I was there... Because you, my love, trusted me with the most important decisions you needed made for you to survive this ordeal… You literally trusted me with your life… And that is why it is so hard to write this and why it’s taken me days to fight through my enormous sorrow & bitter emotions to just say... goodbye…
The thing about it is, since OUR day one, even when emotions were confusing & you were just a new acquaintance, I realized something… and said it to you a week later. I also never let you forget it:
“I don’t know what we’re supposed to be or where we’re supposed to go... but God told me I’m supposed to be here for you… So, please know, I’m not going anywhere.”
That is & has always been the nature of our relationship: Being There. Wherever “There” was, From Chicago to Grand Rapids to St. Louis and back again... I made it my business to be in that place: “There”. This was the way we showed our style of love to one another.… Being There. For the better part of 5 years… and I say “better part” because your entrance into my singular organic struggle on this minuscule planet made everything better.
I was there when you hadn’t worked in three years & weren’t eating properly. If nothing else, I was going to make sure you were good, even if I wasn’t entirely great myself.
I was there to help you get your first job after that drought & watched you excel above every stylist who’d been there for years.
I was there when outer affections had grown sour on multiple occasions and your disbelief & overall depression made you feel as if there was no redemption waiting for you on the outside.
I was there when you needed to get to a Nashville wedding of epic proportions, although I had no idea I was walking into a minefield: Financially & interpersonally.
NONE OF THAT EXTRA STUFF EVER MATTERED.
Because when you needed me, I was there...
Even when people didn’t know I was.
The thing was, you were also there with me:
You were with me, stage managing one the most challenging gigs I’ve ever undertaken, helping make decisions that shaped the overall production run.
You were with me, cheering from the audience, when I played one of the greatest roles in one of the most important shows of our lifetime, celebrating icons of OUR lifestyle.
You were with me when my band had its final performance in Wrigleyville… and made me feel like I was the luckiest lead singer in Soul Rock.
You were with me as my Associate Director, developing & creating new ideas, writing out future concepts & continuing to curate what you felt your ultimate destiny was shaping up to become.
For one so small, you wanted so much… not just for yourself… but for all of us. You wanted every life you touched and every place you’d walked to be better because you’d been there. That was your life’s mission: “to leave this world a better place” because you were in it... and as I glance at my empty couch, remembering every recent conversation we had in the past 6 mos… and I see the ranging amount of reactions across the globe at hearing of your departure, I believe that you did EXACTLY what you set out to do.
Did you change the entire political landscape…
or reshape our financial infrastructure…
or run for presidential office?
No… but you forced hundreds of people to think about everything you talked about in a new way. Your debates about ANY and EVERY subject will ALWAYS be the stuff of LEGEND… You curated a life legacy that forces dozens of folks to stop & think #WWTD: “What Would Tyler Do?”
But still, you were more than just a man that found his way into my life and became a “friend” & “brother”… You were more than just a creative partner & sharer of many celebratory moments. You were more than just the perfect form of my perfect person who was committed to being a part of a closeness that can only be described as a domestic partnership… but you were a human, shaping your destiny and living to the best of your ability, even when it was hard… You are an example of knowledge, grace, style & class, struggling to shine the light in your life. You felt like you were a burden on so many & even beat yourself up because you weren’t where you knew you should have been, doing what you knew you should be doing… But because I know you, when it was over & I held your hand, I know you had no regrets. That’s not something you did. I know you’d tried to make the best of every situation you ever found yourself in. I know that you were living in a world that was never going to be big enough to contain every dream you wanted to achieve. Most importantly, I KNOW you knew I was there… Because every time I look at the wall above my computer at the quotes my friends sent me for encouragement, yours will always be at my eye level, sending me the deepest love that dwelled within your soul:
“You’re My Hero!”.
I tried to be.
Lord knows I did.
But, more than anything on this earth…
I’m glad I listened to that voice.
I’m glad I followed those instructions.
I’m glad I was there.
Thank YOU for BEING THERE.
“5’5” with Brown Eyes,
Smile Like The Sunrise”
Forever & For Always...
I Love You.