Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Information re TJ's memorial/celebration of life and additional details:
Hey, all. TJ's memorial/celebration of life will, quite fittingly, take place at the new(ish) Mountaineers Building this Friday, October 16th, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Address: 770 Sandpoint Way NE, Seattle, 98115, in Goodman Rooms A and B. Many of you have asked what you can do to help. There will be a slideshow. Send me photos soon at email@example.com and I'll send them to Stephen, who is overseeing it.
We are all grieving, but unquestionably, TJ would want us to have a bit of fun with this, so if some of the photos are goofy, well, all the better. Let's give our lad the send off he deserves.
Also, please don't take it personally if I haven't returned your deeply kind phone call or email yet. I am shattered and need to not talk about it today or tomorrow. TJ was due at my place last Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. and TJ always sent me a "Home safe!" email the first thing he was in the door, always sent me his itinerary, and always let me know when to "officially" worry.
The tipping point for the latter on this trip was late afternoon Wednesday. Hence a number of you seeing me at Sherman's Tuesday evening reading and Dave's noon reading on Wednesday last week. TJ, like all climbers, had encountered unforeseen but essentially benign circumstances previously and returned to Seattle several hours late, but never so late he was in the officially designated worry zone.
At 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, I left TJ a voicemail and when I still hadn't heard from him by 7:30 p.m., I let his closest climbing partner/great guy/heroic friend, Tim, know that TJ was late. And immediately, Tim, TJ's extraordinarily intelligent and kind, sister, Joy, and I kicked into gear. Tim actually left that night, a full 12 hours ahead of the Chelan County Search and Rescue. Then right away, additional truly heroic climbing friends joined the Search and Rescue teams and, indeed, surpassed the efforts of the professionals. Joy received information from the SAR teams, relayed it to me, and I disseminated it to relevant parties and to TJ's copious friends.
I don't think I can say these words out loud again this week without falling apart. And all of us still have Friday to get through. It will be a celebration of TJ's amazing and singular life, but celebration or not, a number of us are churning in agony.
And I hope this doesn't sound unkind, but if no one would call before 10:00 a.m. West Coast time, I would really appreciate it. A number of us have barely slept in a week and the last three days I've been woken by early phone calls after only having fitfully slept a few hours.
Thank you again, all of you, for everything. The outpouring of love for TJ and for his friends means more than I can possibly convey. And I will definitely be in touch with each of you very soon.