21 September 2010

Thoughts on the Death of a Friend

It seems to me, after these past 10 days, that the death of a dear one makes us feel like we are ourselves lost.

Tragic, unexpected, untimely death is much harder to deal with. It is a surreal experience - in some ways - both physically and mentally intense, wretchedly transcendent in regard to the anguish we feel…

For days we have walked around with a kicked-in-the-stomach feeling, breathing deep was difficult, looking in each other’s eyes was nearly impossible. The patterns of our daily life have a new gap in them and our connections with the world are fewer and more tenuous.

I have felt both terribly empty and terribly full, and both are made of pain.

14 September 2010


A great friend is gone and today, or tomorrow they are turning off the machines that are keeping his body alive. A new experience for me and one I would greatly have preferred not to experience.

Let me tell you about Chad.

Chad was a great artist. Not your typical artist working with brushes on canvas or sculpting something beautiful... at least not in the way you normally think of painting and sculpting. Chad's artistry was done with ink and needles, his canvas was skin, his sculptures were our human bodies. Chad was a tattoo artist. A brilliant one.

Sometimes gifted people can be blinded by their own magnificence. Not Chad. He nurtured people he saw as destined to shine brighter than himself with a true enthusiasm and a pure passion to see them succeed. He collaborated where others in his position might have chosen to compete. He demanded excellence of himself, and his collaborators - and celebrated those rare moments of artistic transcendence with boundless joy.

Chad believed in people. He weighed them with a generous heart, and found few lacking. Those who were fortunate enough to be counted as a friend knew unstinting love and bountiful support.

We are all walking wounded today,
Hollow, achy, empty inside,
Wandering the land of disbelief and despair,
Our friend is gone, he has died.

His friends are grieving

See Chad's work