Sunday, May 22, 2011

The New Normal

The last 3 weeks have been ones of upheaval in our family, but the new reality is taking hold.

Most of you who read this blog may be aware that Derek's last post generated an unprecedented amount of traffic on his website (over 10 million hits), and a large number of comments. Additionally, local and international media picked up the story. We have been in interviews on radio and TV; had one family memorial and one public memorial for Derek, also covered by TV.

That's more or less in the past - which is just as well; there are fewer reminders of Derek's death.

For us, as his parents, our grandchildren, and our daughter-in-law, as well as our extended family, there will be no forgetting, of course. However, life carries on. Our daughter-in-law and granddaughters are in Seattle for the long weekend, along with a good friend. We are at home, looking after Lucy, their little dog. We are fortunate that we live in the same duplex, so Lucy can go to her own home for a few hours every day.

Our family routines are changing; this is the new normal.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The end of the gravel road

Our son Derek died in the evening of May 3, 2011. He had to deal with metastatic colon cancer for four and a half years. Our family is immensely saddened, and his death will leave a large void among us. He will be deeply missed by all of us.

Derek had an extremely unique intelligence, and a multitude of interests. All his friends, and we, could ask him almost any question and he would have an intelligent and easily understood answer. His blog is a testament to his extensive knowledge and eclectic thinking. Through his blog, he a affected a multitude of people, and many commented on how his posts had helped them deal with adversities of their own. He was a very knowledgeable technologist - he had extensive knowledge in computer and internet technology, photography, was a musician and composer, had a degree in marine biology, and a diploma in writing (both from UBC). Writing was his passion.

Both the Province and the Vancouver Sun published articles about him today. Here is what Pete McMartin of the Vancouver Sun had to say:

(click on the image)

No medical treatment, including several operations and many sometimes very debilitating chemotherapy treatments could stop this cancer. Throughout these years he maintained his interests and wrote about them in his blog. It never became a "cancer blog".

As his parents, we have lost our only child - a part of us died with him. We are lucky to have his wife and our two granddaughters living next to us. For us, Derek lives on in them.