Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Remembering Derek Miller

Almost three weeks ago I was having coffee with Bill and he was telling me about his plans for later that day. Bill was going to visit Derek, presumably for the last time. Derek, a mutual friend of ours, was suffering from colon cancer and was in the final stages. (warning, the link for Derek might not load right away. His website is getting a LOT of traffic right now and you might have to try again later.)

Anyway, at that time I asked Bill to pass on my regards to Derek, as I knew that I already had my final, albeit brief visit with Derek, back at his living wake. While the wake was a raucous success, Derek was struggling with an epic case of laryngitis that left him virtually voiceless, and with literally hundreds of his friends and family in attendance, he had time for a quick hug and about 3 minutes of conversation. It was his night, he was in rare form and it was all I needed. Then he was on to the next friend, chatting quickly, embracing and riding a euphoric wave well into the night.

Derek passed away last night, at home, as was his plan. We all knew this was coming, there were no surprises, yet coming into work today and finding out still felt like a punch to the gut. Derek made the best out of a terrible situation and managed to die with dignity and grace - even while openly blogging about the diapers and other gruesome details about his disease. His decision to blog about his cancer came from an honest place and resounded with thousands of followers worldwide. The final post was written in advance and posted on his behalf, but the words are all his. I encourage you to check it out - it's linked above.

I knew Derek K. Miller while he was alive, and I will remember him long after his passing.

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