By EW Staff
Updated March 11, 2015 at 12:00 PM EDT
Damian Dovarganes/AP

Shorly after news spread on Wednesday that Still Alice writer and director Richard Glatzer had died after a lengthy battle with ALS, his husband, co-director and “best friend” Wash Westmoreland remembered him in a touching statement.

“I am devastated. Rich was my soul mate, my collaborator, my best friend and my life. Seeing him battle ALS for four years with such grace and courage inspired me and all who knew him,” Westmoreland wrote in a statement to EW. “In this dark time, I take some consolation in the fact that he got to see Still Alice go out into the world. He put his heart and soul into that film and the fact that it touched so many people was a constant joy to him.”

Glatzer and Westmoreland worked together to adapt Lisa Genova’s novel, Still Alice, into the film that went on to win Julianne Moore the Oscar for Best Actress. He was diagnosed with ALS in 2011, shortly after taking the project on.

“Thank you to everyone for this huge outpouring of love,” he continued. “Richard was a unique guy — opinionated, funny, caring, gregarious, generous, and so so smart. A true artist and a brilliant man.. I treasure every day of the short 20 years we had together. I cannot believe he has gone. But in my heart and the hearts of those who loved him he will always be alive.”