Sunday, December 30, 2012
Life... and Death
A friend of mine died today. His name was Geoff. Geoff was in his forties, an age too young to leave.
Geoff was diagnosed with a brain tumor last year. (I blogged about it then.) Geoff's cancer went into remission after treatment and he thought he'd beaten it. Then, a month or so ago, the cancer returned and had infiltrated his entire body. Ten days ago they stopped treatment and sent him to hospice. He couldn't speak but was alert and comfortable. This afternoon, he passed away.
I met Geoff in 1998 through a motorcycle club we were active in. I was President of the club and Geoff looked up to me as the leader of the group. That respect transformed easily into a satisfying friendship which continued after we both left the club.
When Geoff went into hospice, I remembered a photo he'd submitted for the club's online Bike Of The Month feature over a decade ago. It was Geoff reclining on his red motorcycle, parked on a beach. I pulled the photo off the club's website, printed it, framed it and sent it to Geoff with a letter about the good times we had back then. Our mutual friend Jason, who stayed with Geoff till the end, told me Geoff put the photo on his bedstand and looked at it all the time. I had hoped the picture would remind him of a time in his life when he was happy. Riding his motorcycle with friends certainly qualified for that. (The photo is above.)
Geoff is survived by his wife, Fleur, and his mother. His mother still lives on Long Island which was a catalyst for our visiting whenever he came to see her.
Geoff was a good guy. I'm glad we were friends. It's terribly sad he died so young.
Geoff's passing is a harsh reminder that our lives are fragile and can disappear in an instant. We should be conscious and grateful for the gift of life we are given every day. I am. And I will miss Geoff.
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I'm so sorry to hear of your friend's passing, Ally. My heart goes out to you. How wonderful that you were able to give him such a lovely gift, both of the photo and your friendship.ReplyDelete
My deepest condolences on the loss of your friend. May he rest in peace, and may your fond memories of Geoff give you some comfort.ReplyDelete
Ally I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your treasured friend. My condolences to you and his family.ReplyDelete
I'm so sorry you've lost a dear friend. That is a special photo and I'm sure it brought back fond memories for him. This is certainly a reminder for us to be "conscious and grateful" every day.ReplyDelete
So sorry to hear of your loss. May he RIP in a better place.ReplyDelete
Happy 2013 Hun xoxo
The memory of Geoff never dies.ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing a story of Geoff with us.
Kindest thing anyone can do - to show the world that Geoff really made an impact in your life and that people will be loved so much even when they are gone.
And my condolences to you and his family.
So sorry to hear about the loss of Geoff. Thank you for sharing your story. Losing someone is always so hard.ReplyDelete
I am so sorry to hear this, my condolences to you Ally, and to Geoff's family. Your photograph was a lovely gesture.ReplyDelete
Dear Ally, keeping you and Geoff's family and loved ones in my thoughts at this time. So sorry for your loss. Your loving gifts of friendship, the photograph, and this post are so moving.ReplyDelete
Ally, I am very sorry to hear about Geoff. That's a horrible tragedy to lose a friend so young. It sounds like your photo brought him the fond memory you'd hoped it would. Hugs to you in this very difficult time.ReplyDelete
Sorry for your loss. Loss isn't ever wanted. It doesn't ever seem to make sense. I've lost almost everyone close to me. But I'm strong and I'm sure you are too. I treasure the good and try to let the bad go.ReplyDelete
Dear Ally, I'm so, so sorry to hear about your loss. Stay strong and alwaays keep him in your heart.ReplyDelete
Oh Ally, I'm so sorry about Geoff, I remember when you first talked about his brain tumor. I send you hugs during this hard time, I know how much this hurts.ReplyDelete
Thank you, guys. I don't know about you but, for me, the pain of grieving the death of a loved one is the worst experience in life. It grips me in the chest like a vise and squeezes to the point where I think my heart will explode. I'm going to need time to absorb this blow.ReplyDelete
Thinking about you at this time of endings and new beginnings. Will keep you close in my prayers as you come to terms with this loss.ReplyDelete
I'm so sorry for your loss. It's always sad to lose someone, but it's even harder when they're still so young.ReplyDelete
I am so sorry to hear this, I remember you talking about this on twitter. I am so, very sorry. I am glad that you were able to bring him some cheer in his last weeks, and remind him of good times in his life.ReplyDelete
Thinking of you and your friend's family. Always more poignant at this time of year. xxxReplyDelete
Very sad news to hear. It is such a reminder that every single day of life is a gift and to never become complacent. Sending well wishes your way.ReplyDelete
Ally, how very sad. I'm so sorry you lost a good friend too soon. But that was a really beautiful gift you gave Geoff and his family.ReplyDelete
Internet big sympathy hug to you.
Oh Ally. I remember when you first posted about Geoff. I'm so sorry to hear of his passing. I know he spent his life with good friends and doing things he loved. We all have limited time here, and it's hard to face the reality of our short lives. Sending you lots of hugs and love. Surround yourself by loved ones, remember the good times with your friend. He is no longer in pain, no matter where he is now.ReplyDelete
I remember when you posted first about this.ReplyDelete
I am sorry to hear that Geoff is gone, however I am happy that he had someone like you in his life. Who was his friend and was there when he needed it most. We should all have a friend like that.
My sincerest condolences on the loss of your friend Geoff. Its a blessing to have had the chance to share moments of life with special people.
Dear Ally, my thoughts are with you during this painful time. How poignantly sad to loss a loved one just as an entire year itself is coming to an end.ReplyDelete
May peace and happiness find their way into your life once more as 2013 begins to help with this tragic loss.
I'm so sorry to read that Geoff has passed. Wishing for peace, comfort and good memories to carry all the people that loved him.ReplyDelete
Loss is always hard, but especially so around holiday seasons. So good of you to honour him like this. You are a true friend both online and in "real life".ReplyDelete
I'm so sorry for your loss.ReplyDelete
I'm terribly sorry to hear about the passing of your friend. These things are so difficult, especially around the holidays. Sending you good thoughts and wishing you comfort.ReplyDelete
I'm so sorry that you lost your friend; how sad that he was taken away at such a young age. Life is indeed a fragile thing. Warmest wishes to you and here's hoping for peace and joy in the new year.ReplyDelete
I'm so sorry for your loss. That is way too young to die, and it's a good reminder for us all to cherish every moment we have. Thanks for sharing your friend's story.ReplyDelete
So sorry for your loss, it's very painful the loss of a friend. Cancer is vicious and so many good people are gone because of it, wish you warm and peaceful wishesReplyDelete
I am sorry to hear about your friend's passing away. My thoughts are with you and his family.ReplyDelete
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Catching up on my blogs from the past few days...so sorry to hear about this. Losing a loved one is always hard, but especially so when it's before "their time." Thanks for the wise sentiments; it's important to remember how lucky we are to have known our friends and family, no matter how short the time may be.ReplyDelete
I've just learned about his passing and will have a card on its way to you tomorrow that says more than I will write here. But I wanted to say how thoughtful you were sending him that photo; it's so "you" to do something like that, and it obviously meant a great deal to him and gave him comfort. You are beautiful inside and out.ReplyDelete
I'm so sorry for Geoff and for your loss buddy.ReplyDelete