Sunday, February 24, 2008

A celebration today

Today was a memorial service, a celebration, of BH. There must have been over 150 people. I'm now hearing 200. A wonderful person opened the ceremony. An old friend relayed distant messages and shared life experiences. Lovely wife made a few comments. Sisters and friends read poetry. I gave a eulogy, as did another fellow. Beautiful guitar and mandolin music was played. Friends and family got up to tell stories. There was a Statement of Hope, followed by a tearing version of "Flowers of the Forest" played on bagpipes. People brought food and drink, so we all talked and ate and talked and ate some more. I'll try to follow up with more details in the next day or two. But today was a good day, a hard day, a tiring day, a touching day.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Not sleeping... with tears

I got the email yesterday that the memorial service for BH will be the weekend of Feb 23rd. I wish I could tell you where, but you know that story. It will be a pot luck, with bunches of people getting together to talk story, swap tales and the like.

I live far enough away from the Bay Area that it is a bit of work and planning to go. I lay on my pillow, bouncing back and forth the alternatives. Not to mention, what would I say. Our adventures, the lessons we learned, to our spoken and not yet discovered plans for the future. And I realize, in the dark, with the cat demanding stillness and warmth, that I've had tears falling back my face for an hour. Sleep won't come easy tonight.

And still they fall...

Friday, February 8, 2008

Message from an Angel

This message comes from someone who is helping the family. A true angel. The names have been removed, but it is the status of the world for BH’s family. I share it with you so you know that there is a community of love surrounding the family, in addition to all you beautiful people.

The Lovely Wife wants to thank you for your outpouring of care, love and support.

Many of you have inquired about TLW and the children. I've been checking in with her daily. There is no one way I can describe how she is doing. I can say however, that from what I observe, she is facing the reality of BH’s death with courage and a willingness to meet both the pain and the freedom his death has brought about. She is taking good care of herself while being very present with the kids. Unfortunately she did pull her back and has been having some back spasm, but is caring for it.

Friends and family have been around making sure she is not alone. She's gotten tremendous help from many of you with meals, shopping, house cleaning and plain old love.

The children stayed home Monday and Tuesday and on Wednesday the darling boy went to school. When I picked him up from school, there was a lightness about him. I think that knowing that even though his life is forever changed, some things like good friends and school are still there and normal and won't be taken away.

Forgive me if I state the obvious, but for those of you who do see the family or will in the near future, please take care not to talk to the kids about BH’s death unless they initiate the conversation, (and perhaps ask your kids not to either.) At the moment DB feels that his father's death is a private matter (I am quoting his words.) As adults we know we can't protect him from the reality of how public it really is, but for now, if we can just allow him to have a little more time to dictate the pace in which this information seeps in and the time he needs to process the fact that his life is forever changed-it will be a little gift we can give him.

The family took a trip to Santa Cruz for a couple of days with a good friend of TLW. They rented a cabin on the beach with a hot tub. If anyone knows a good massage therapist in Santa Cruz please let me know. It would be wonderful if she can get one or two massages while she is there.(Please let me know by Sat as they are only staying until Sunday.)

Many of you have been asking about making a donation to the family or to acollege fund for the kids. I will give you more information about how to do this in the next week or two.

Arrangements are still being made for the memorial service and we are hopingto sort it out by early next week. I will let all of you know as soon as I know. It looks like it will be on either the weekend of February 23rd orMarch 8th.

With much love,
An Angel

I'll keep you all up to date as things settle down for the family.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Amazing the blogosphere

I've always treasured my friends. Those near and far, current and over the years. But I never spent time with blogs because life is too busy already. Until BH used it to keep us informed.

Now there are people around the world who know the story of my sharp elbowed sometimes cranky usually brilliant friend and his wonderful wife and beautiful children. I'm torn between being thankful I'm not alone in my grief and the thought that you have had to experience this pain as well. But I know that care and empathy, being kind and showing love is healing.

If I could just hold your hands, look into your eyes and say "Thank you."
So I do.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Finally at Rest

Last night, at 8:40 p.m., BH peacefully died surrounded by family. I may have more to say later. Maybe not. I don't feel like writing a eulogy today.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Changes we make in our lives?

There is so much kindness, good will, blessings and honesty in the postings at brainhell and here. We all read it, say it, feel it. I can't identify specific changes. But I wonder if the experience of reading brainhell, of watching a friend wither away, of extending kindness, changes me at a fundamental level. Those things I've done for BH I've never felt as an obligation, but as part of our friendship. And now I ponder: can I check in with myself, carry that approach, those deeds, to others? Probably not as intimately. But nothing should stop me from wishing happiness, health, an absence of pain, a wonderful family and loving friends to anyone.

How has reading BH influenced you?