Ryan Coogler is remembering the special moments he got to experience with Chadwick Boseman.

The Black Panther director shared a moving tribute, which was sent to E! News, to celebrate the life and legacy of the actor. Coogler’s heartfelt letter comes only a few days following the news that Boseman had passed away.

On Friday, Aug. 28, the actor died at the age of 43 after privately battling colon cancer for four years. Just like the rest of the world, Coogler said he was surprised to learn about Boseman’s diagnosis.

“After his family released their statement, I realized that he was living with his illness the entire time I knew him,” the director penned, adding, “Because he was a caretaker, a leader, and a man of faith, dignity and pride, he shielded his collaborators from his suffering.”

“He lived a beautiful life. And he made great art. Day after day, year after year. That was who he was,” Coogler continued. “He was an epic firework display. I will tell stories about being there for some of the brilliant sparks till the end of my days.”

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