Boy, ain’t THAT the mot juste.
I know that most of you have gotten the news that Gerard Vanderleun is in hospice care now. It is inexpressibly sad.
I’ve been wrestling with this for a while. And by “this” I mean: how to say what I’m about to say. Anyone who reads this blog knows I’m a very private person and don’t go in for much disclosure, dramatic or otherwise. But I’m about to write something very personal because detachment doesn’t work right now.
And it’s something Gerard wanted me to write, too, and so I’m doing this at least in part for him as well.
Gerard and I met through our blogging nearly eighteen years ago, became a couple about a year later and stayed that way for many years, and for the past ten or so years have been extremely close friends. We never lived together but would visit each other for lengthy periods, travel together, and have talked on the phone almost every day for most of the time we’ve been apart. He deferred to my need for privacy by not writing about our relationship, although I appear in some of his writings as the mysterious woman who was there for this or that occasion.
We’ve been in touch every day right through this illness, which came on so quickly and was diagnosed so recently – only this past Wednesday – that it took everyone by surprise. I am the “updater” at American Digest, too.
I’m very distraught, I’m on my way out west to see him, and this will be my only post for today. I’m not planning on giving a running account, but at some point I probably will write more about this.
Thank God for your presence in Gerard’s life, Neo, and may He bless you for being there in this good and gentle man’s hour of greatest need. She does indeed have a brief followup post.
I saw Gerard yesterday and I believe he’s quite close to death, perhaps days to a week. I’m not going to go into details except to say that meaningful conversation seems to have ceased, and he has also stopped drinking water. He’s being cared for attentively at a good place.
It is very hard to face losing his enormous presence in my life.
I’m sure it is. We’ll all lose something unique and wonderful when GVDL finally departs this vale of tears.