Friday, January 2, 2009

R.I.P Dion Gillard

I learned today that a long-time colleague of mine, Dion Gillard, passed away back in September. Although I knew him only electronically, we participated together on a close-knit mailing list for many years.
He had melanoma and wrote a bit about it here. I looked at photos he had posted over the years, some of them eerily peaceful when viewed in light of his passing.
Many people on the email list have expressed regret that we did not notice his departure until now, 3 months after his death. That is sad evidence indeed of the state of our too-busy, information-swamped society, but I feel something else...
For some reason, even more than the lose of Dion himself, I feel sadness for his children. I'm feeling the kind of deep sadness and sense of hopelessness as I did yesterday watching a performance by Eric Clapton; I was wondering how Clapton could ever experience happiness again after losing his young son years ago. Now I find myself wondering how Dion's children (and wife?) will ever feel happiness after losing their dad and husband.
As scary a thought as my own death is, I think I fear even more the thought of losing my wife or son. To me, the ones left behind continue to suffer more after the dying have rested, and that saddens me. It saddens me so much that I am near tears for a family I have never met and don't know the first thing about.
To the Gillard family, my prayers are with you; know that God hears them.

1 comment:

Kristen Gillard said...

Hi Nick,

This is Kristen, dIon's little brother; I just saw your post; 8 years later :-(

dIon was a fighter and loved life to the nth-degree! His two children; Madeleine and Jared are troopers -- they are very big reminders of their dad; their mannerisms and characteristics are very much like dIon and we all miss him very much. 3 years before dIon passed we had our Dad die also which was a very big time for all of us boys (Dale:53, dIon:50 (would be now), Sean:47 & Me (Kristen:42)) and especially my Mum.

dIons passing was difficult for everyone especially his kids and Wife.

I worked with dIon at Multitask in the early days of 1994/95 and then again in 1998-2006 writing java code and getting thrown in the deep end of the coding pool which was the best time of my life - being able to spend all that time with him every day at work.

It is very kind hearted of you to have felt this way about someone and his family that you had never met - all I can say to you is that you are such an awesome person with the biggest heart!

It is times like these that help me believe that there actually are genuine kind people on this planet that actually care what happens to others in this crazy world!

Check out dIon's Facebook page/ Flickr

Be Safe, Be Happy - I hope you have a very fun filled and happy life!

Kristen.