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.