Sunday, July 25, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jack. A day late

Yesterday would have been Jack's 54th birthday. I had a plan. But then I fell asleep in front of the TV the night before, and when my alarm clock went off the next morning in the other bedroom, I managed to fall off the bed when reaching for said alarm clock, hitting my head and my leg in the process. So, after seeing the doctor, I spent the day at a friend's house resting. Of course, the girls were there too. I managed to give myself a bit of a concussion, but I am feeling better today. (Glad this happened on a Sat. morning so I didn't miss any work.) So I'm certain that Jack would understand being a day late.

Our remembrance of him was pretty simple. We got the idea from a TV show on PBS about grieving children. We went to the store and got 3 balloons in Jack's favorite color. Or at least as close as we could get. (For those who don't know, his favorite color was cobalt blue.) We then each wrote a short note to him telling him how much we love and miss him. (OK, I wrote Gabby's for her.) Then I attached a note to each balloon, and we went into the back yard and let them go to him up in Summerland.

He is still missed and still loved and always will be.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Comments about Jack

Before the memorial service for Jack, I collected a bunch of comments that people made in emails and other places about the kind of person Jack was. I've decided to post them here for everybody to see. He was a multifaceted man with varied interests, and he knew folks from various walks of life. But what comes through is his vibrant energy, his love of life, and his love for me and our girls.

The Person Jack

He may have died of a heart attack but it was purely physical as his was a special heart, big and generous.

I cannot help but feel a little bit of joy, not for the fact that you’re gone, but for how you lived your life, and for how you’ve taught us all to live our lives, to be totally and unapologetically true to ourselves, and most of all, to love, love, love.

He had a way of being exactly who he was, never apologizing for it, never hurting anyone by it, and always leaving people around him somewhat inspired. I've never met a Jack before. And the rare thing about Jack, is that all these things about Jack that are good, people said about him when he was living as well.

His energy and vibrant energy were so amazing.

There is an unfathomable void left in our lives where his larger-than-life presence once resided.

Jack Darkhand was a great, great man. He was also my friend.

He was a blaze of talent, a brilliant head, a lot of fun.

Jack pretty much saved my life

His humor and passion for life were infectious and his willingness to share wisdom inspiring. He was a true individual

He's a man that recreated himself dozens of times in dozens of ways.... and some know him through one, many or all of those incarnations. I think of him in wonderment.

Such a great man... so talented, kind, thoughtful

He was just Big; such an unmistakeable presence. Expansive, active, outgoing... I know no one else who is his match -- such a force!

He wrung every possible moment of happiness out of his life. What was best is that he decided this was how it was going to be.

Jack on the job

If you put Jack on a project to bottle farts, he would STILL be over the top and authentically enthusiastic and make you think that it was his life long dream to do that exact project. He would then get everyone around him excited to work on it. He had a way.

Every moment of his day that was not actively engaged in work I know was spent thinking of you. When it was time to go, he was in a hurry to get home to his family.

Jack as astrologer, brewer, Tarot reader, Pagan

People were awed by him. He was so accurate, it was scary. . . And the absolute best thing about it? He achieved this uncanny accuracy not through any psychic ability, but through pure and simple science.

He was an incredible man, intelligent, kind and thoughtful with a huge heart. . . I was so inspired by our conversation and by the magic of plants in general that I went on to study herbal medicine and have been working as a professional herbalist and healer since 2002.

Jack as loving husband and father

I was so inspired by the relationship you had with your wife.

He loved with great passion, and his romance with Linda was legendary.

There are few people who touched my heart they way Jack did. Everything he did, he did with great passion and he loved life to the fullest -- and the best part of his life was his love of Linda. I am honoured to have known him -- and I will deeply miss him.

The depth of his love consumed him. He left no doubt that Linda was the most beautiful, desirable, wonderful woman in his world. I was in awe of his love, and still am.

When I think of love, of marriage and what it can truly be, I think of Jack. I always will.

Everyone who knew Jack, knew Linda and Sarah and Gabby by first names and all the details. He gushed over them.

He died in a house of love, filled with that which was most precious to him, under a roof shared by those that loved him back. I don't think anything but death could have take him from your side.