Author Topic: The passing of a Brokie: JT/EDM  (Read 1473 times)

Offline Shakesthecoffecan

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The passing of a Brokie: JT/EDM
« on: August 21, 2009, 06:39:31 pm »
Received this in an email this afternoon from someone on the DCF, this person was also a member here :

Hello Everyone.

I have come 'back' to post a loving memorial and notification of the passing of one us Brokies.

My VERY dear friend: JT/EDM passed away last Monday 17th August 2009, 5 days short of his 82nd birthday, most probably at his home in Arizona.  Dick was his name.

Dick's /  JT/EDM's last post to the forum, was made to this thread (Reply 1902 on March 5th, 2009).

Here is what he wrote at that time:

I need only glance out the window to see My Brokeback; a range of mountains, nothing like Wyoming but respectable mountains nonetheless. Along the crest of the range there is a notch, wide and deep. It's enough to make the analogy more real than not. I hear the opening notes of the film and then Shawn Kirchner's "Meet Me On The Mountain" and I am overcome. I weep for the loss of Ennis and Jack, of Heath and Jake - my loss, your loss, and ours. And that is as it should be for life is tragic.

That reality is both burdensome and beautiful. That's my message from Brokeback. It's easier to bear when recognized than when denied. If you allow it, Brokeback, in time, will speak its own special message to you - different from mine - but comforting and you will be glad that you are alive to hear it.  Be not confounded. This and more will come to pass and you will find it good. It's then that I  turn to Kirchner's "I'll Be On My Way" and my spirit soars.

Be of good heart. Stay with us Matt. We have all been though it one way or another and we are all glad to have Brokeback, each other, and you.      JT/EDM"

In re-reading that posting, I am brought right back to his presence; as a close reading of it shows his love, caring, sympathy, empathy, compassion, wisdom, and understanding for all; and most especially for all of us Brokies.

Dick did not post to the forum very often, his profile shows a total of 45 postings in over 2 years of membership; yet he read widely on the forum every day.   If you click on his profile and read any of those few postings, you will see the deep thought and understandings in each of them which typified this most marvellous man -- and may learn something from his wisdom.

When he made his early postings, he dearly hoped that thoughtful Brokies would engage with him on the issues, either on the threads, by PM, or both.  He quickly found, however, that most were not willing to engage with him at all.  I had the good fortune to engage with him via PM on some issues; from which a most wonderful relationship emerged.

He had lots of tragedy in his life, including always feeling on the outer as a young boy (a common-enough component of many of the earlier stories here in Affected); through to losing his only son as a baby in a cot-death, which resulted in a court case at which time he and his wife had to prove that they had not been the cause of the death -- at a time when the concept of 'cot death' was not known and when also he and his wife were living away from their families and had no emotional support networks. They were cleared of all suspicions/charges. Their other child was a dearly beloved daughter, who was murdered as an adolescent by a troubled young lad who they had taken into their home as a foster-son, and had become very attached to. Dick said that this event was like losing another 2 children at once, because the foster-son had also come to be like a son to them.  His wife developed permanent disabilities as a result of this event from which she never recovered. 

Not long after I first started writing to JT/EDM, he told me that he had had no love and no sex in his life in the 20 years since his wife's death.   I don't think that he realised it at the time, but he did have constant friends, current and ex-neighbours, and others in his life, who I believe must have loved him; after he had told me of how solicitous of him each of them has been.

He also soon told me that his day was not complete without receiving a message from me. How lovely that was to read, right at the time when I was trying to deal with a broken Brokie heart of my own.

In that context I thought that if I could try to write one note to him each day, not necessarily deep, but even about the most mundane items of my daily life; then I might be helping to "make" his day.  And so our correspondence moved from deep analyses and discussion, to include shallow and throw-away personal daily minutiae. In this way we each learned so much about each other's life history, as well as about our likes, dislikes, etc.  We were constantly amazed at the number of times that one of us expressed himself to be in complete accord with the opinion or attitude expressed by the other.  It got to the stage where we were surprised when we were not of one mind on an issue. (ha ha).  At one time he said that at his advanced age he had never expected to finally find a male soul-mate in this life; and he was thrilled that we had become so.  I would log onto my e-mail box at about midnight Australian time, which was around 5 or 6 a.m. Arizona time, and we would frequently write back and forwards to each other for one, two, three hours or more.

We started to include deeply personal and private stuff -- like his tragic events mentioned above -- and as we did, I sensed myself drawing ever closer to him emotionally.  We were 100% honest with each other on our feelings, opinions, histories, etc. In recent months I realised that my emotional attachment to him had grown to the level of love.  So I told him so. He seemed a little diffident at first, scared I think of being hurt if he reciprocated loving feelings and I turned out to be shallow: understandable in an internet e-mail friendship. Then each of us slowly started to unbend and to sign off our notes with love. 

In recent months his already poor health started deteriorating badly, requiring quite a bit of hospitalisation in addition to his already constant medications.  With hindsight that was good for me in that it forcibly weaned me off our long daily e-mail contacts; especially when after his latest return home, he was too weak to write me more than one or two lines each day.  Accordingly, I am not 'missing' such deep, long, daily contacts, as I would otherwise have done.

I could write about my dear JT/EDM for hours, but must draw this to a close; as I have already 'raved on' for far too long about him.

I'd like to close with something which he said recently -- paraphrasing as I cannot yet find the relevant message to quote properly -- which was that his world changed when he read a quotation by a famous American (sorry that I have forgotten who it was) who basically said that IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE ANYTHING IN THE WORLD, JUST LOOK AT IT FROM A DIFFERENT VIEWPOINT OR PERSPECTIVE.  He said that the more that he investigated that, the more that he found it to be true; and the more he tried to incorporate it into his daily life. This led him to research on the related topics of PERCEPTION and PERSPECTIVE, which he saw as being what that saying was all about.

As to me: at the moment I feel no sadness at his passing, as he had well prepared me for it over past days and weeks; as had his best friend and executor who wrote when Dick was unable to.  Instead of sadness, I am left with the most wonderful mental and emotional legacy from a man who is probably amongst the wisest of people who I have ever encountered in my life.

JT/EDM I grew to love you deeply; and just wish that so many more in the Brokie world had taken the opportunity to be the recipients of your wisdom, attitudes, knowledge, etc.

Addendum: My apologies to Ennis Del Mark, Tigs, and McNell1120 (Nellie) for my not having replied to your lovely notes on here subsequent to my previous posting immediately following JT/EDM's final one.

Best wishes to all; and my gratitude to my roughly half-dozen VERY special Brokies who have sustained me through the past 2 years. I have grown to love each of you in a different way.
Regards: Johnnyx


"It was only you in my life, and it will always be only you, Jack, I swear."

Offline Meryl

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Re: The passing of a Brokie: JT/EDM
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2009, 07:25:44 pm »
Thanks for sharing that, Truman.  The ripple effect of this wonderful film continues to astonish and comfort me.
Ich bin ein Brokie...

Offline louisev

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Re: The passing of a Brokie: JT/EDM
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2009, 07:38:52 pm »
What a tragic but ultimately happy story, Truman... and wonderful that you were able to be a special person to him through Bettermost!
“Mr. Coyote always gets me good, boy,”  Ellery said, winking.  “Almost forgot what life was like before I got me my own personal coyote.”

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: The passing of a Brokie: JT/EDM
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2009, 07:45:04 pm »
Thank you for letting us know about this sad news Tru.  And thank you for sharing all these details.

the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie

Offline ifyoucantfixit

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Re: The passing of a Brokie: JT/EDM
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2009, 04:44:26 pm »

   You have a very precious and lovely heart Truman.  I am so glad you are here for us, and particularly for him.

     Beautiful mind

Offline Berit

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Re: The passing of a Brokie: JT/EDM
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2009, 05:56:09 pm »
Thank you for sharing this with me - us. Bless you.
Ennis.....always Ennis.....