Say goodbye to gman June 26, 2018 1:21 PM   Subscribe

As some of you may know, former Toronto Mefite gman (Gabe) has been battling cancer for the last several months. Its been a long, hard fight, during which no stone was left unturned in the search for his cure, taking him from Ontario to the U.S., to Paris, and on to Heidelberg, Germany, then finally back home to Canada a few weeks ago. His wife and friends sent out an email this weekend, and with their permission, the message has been adapted and presented here for Mefites who knew him:

Although there were signs of hope along the way, unfortunately sometimes you come up against a fight that is ultimately not winnable. The following news may come as a surprise to some of you, and for that I apologize. The bottom line is that Gabe's cancer has metastasized, making his long-term prognosis a dim one.

In line with Gabe's values, his plans in the case of metastasis were always to pursue medically assisted death (which is legal in Canada where he is a citizen). Gabe has now elected to put those plans into action and put himself back in control of his life and his fate.

Since Gabe doesn't believe in funerals, a celebration is being planned for his larger-than-life life. He won't be with us in person, but we're sure he'll be present in some way.

Because the internet is weird and strange, we won't publicly say where and when the wake is other than July 6th in Toronto, Canada. But if you contact Brandon Blatcher or heyho (Linda) via MeFi mail or regular email, they'll send you the full details.

Can't make it or feel you just need something to DO?

Gabe lived to direct people, but he also believed in choice, so there are two options (bonus points for anyone who does both):

Message in a bottle
We invite you to think about how knowing and loving Gabe has impacted your life in some way. Send your message as a video, a voice memo, email, letter, poem - whatever floats your boat. We'll be sharing these messages with Gabe at his living wake, and will upload them to a website with a link to share with all of you.
Deadline: July 1, 2018 by noon
Send to: hopeyscott@gmail.com & aburgess74@yahoo.ca

Give back as much as you take from life
Gabe was a man of many words but even bigger action. His goal in life was to play the capitalism game, do as much good as he could in the world, and die penniless. Get out there and volunteer an hour of your time (time, not money) to a worthy cause. Take photos of yourself doing it. Tell us what it meant to you, and what you learned.

Deadline: July 4, 2019
posted by Brandon Blatcher to MetaFilter-Related at 1:21 PM (160 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

Wow, what a bummer. gman was a big voice here when I started getting into MeFi in the time of long ago, and one of the first people around here whose name I came to recognize. His contributions were always valuable, and he'll be missed. Best wishes to his family and friends. Love you, gman.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 1:38 PM on June 26 [7 favorites]


Also, dude, it feels weird to talk as if you're already gone. gman, I'm glad you've made a decision that you feel is right for you and that you will be able to choose the time and manner of your death. If we have to die, best to do it with open eyes. Godspeed.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 1:44 PM on June 26 [6 favorites]


gman was one of the first MeFites I met here in Toronto. Thanks for being friendly and for keeping it real. I'm going to miss you.
posted by grouse at 1:46 PM on June 26 [5 favorites]


Thank you for posting and sharing this. I cannot say that I knew Gabe very well here on MetaFilter, but I will say this, I am in awe of the way he is approaching his death. Sending my thoughts to him and his family. And I'll take his last wishes to heart and try to learn to be a better human. What a great message to share with everyone. Best wishes to him and his family.
posted by Fizz at 1:46 PM on June 26 [9 favorites]


Thank you, Canada, for allowing my friend to preserve his dignity.

Gabe has made me laugh to the point where I thought I'd upchuck or piss my pants on several occasions—seriously, what more can you ask for in a friend? But as great as that is, he is so much more; there's a side of him that he showed more behind the scenes here, though he did show this openly on the site as well, and it's the very best part of who he is. Gabe made it his life's mission to help others and make the world a better place. And that he did.
posted by heyho at 1:46 PM on June 26 [30 favorites]


I am very sorry to hear this, but am glad, at least, that gman is able to make an end-of-life choice that is right for him. His voice was an important one, has been and will continue to be missed.
posted by maxsparber at 2:01 PM on June 26 [5 favorites]


I was so sad to learn about this.

I didn't even know you personally, gman, so I hope that doesn't come across too strangely. [NOT STALKER-IST.] But like AOANLA, you were one of the first users that I really noticed and paid a lot of attention to when I started hanging out MetaFilter many years ago.

Your comments here were typically some combination of extremely knowledgable, super-interesting, hilarious, passionate, and deeply humane. I was so pleased when MeFite grouse befriended you after moving to Canada and told me what a terrific guy you were in real life, and you were one of the Toronto MeFites I really looked forward to hopefully meeting one day.

You will be missed, and you have my deepest admiration for a life heartily lived with adventure, wonder, and what is clearly a lot of love; and for making the decision for an exit in line with your values. I will keep you and your example close to my heart.
posted by lalex at 2:04 PM on June 26 [17 favorites]


What a fucking bummer. We exchanged a few memails over the years, gman. You probably don't remember. I loved hearing about your travels and experiences, especially in the middle east.

I still remember your comment about establishing the party culture in vang vieng.

You made this place better, and all of us better for it. Godspeed, friend.
posted by smoke at 2:39 PM on June 26 [6 favorites]


IRL for the celebration of life. Because IRL is how I met gman.
posted by grouse at 2:47 PM on June 26 [8 favorites]


Every meet up I went to where gman was also there, he would, without fail, come over and sit and chat with me and my wife for a while. He was always full of crazy stories and full of life and you got the feeling that he really lived it. This is particularly shocking because we just chatted not a year ago when Jessamyn was in town. Man. He tried really hard to connect me with a friend of his who was a musician but it never worked out.
Just a really nice guy. This sucks.
posted by chococat at 3:28 PM on June 26 [9 favorites]


Thanks for making this corner of the Internet a great one.
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:48 PM on June 26 [4 favorites]


Fuck. Just Fuck.

Gabe was the guy I met through Metafilter that helped me work out how to get my Jag insured when I first got to Canada. I can't even remember how it came up - I see no question about it - but maybe I made a comment or something. Who knows. No-one was prepared to consider my 17 year long UK driving record and wanted to treat me like a N00b with a fancy car - I think they wanted something like $8k a year. For a $16k car. Pricks. Gabe hooked me up with a friend of his and it was still expensive, but liveable.

Of the meetups that I went to, he was always there and we chatted a lot and I really fucking liked the guy. Funny, and sharp. We also memailed snarky, un-postable bullshit to each other that was a handy release to stop us getting comments deleted for being dicks. It mostly worked. Unfortunately, as per usual for me, then things drifted and I got caught up with work and constant travel and lived life with my nose against tomorrow instead of the bigger picture, and he left the site and we just... stopped meeting up and chatting.

This is a lesson for people - make the effort. Don't get caught up in just .... being. In the day to day. Don't be like me and let people you like drift away and then find out with a slap and an email that they are terminally ill. It fucking sucks.
posted by Brockles at 4:20 PM on June 26 [23 favorites]


Godspeed, gman, and thank you for your contributions to MeFi. Your extended post about Vang Vieng was terrific—exactly what makes the Blue the best community of the Web (favorited at the time, flagged as fantastic posthumously).
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:39 PM on June 26 [4 favorites]


Oh no! Oh, oh no. This one really hurts, and I was just wondering about him the other day.

It was gman who led the charge to help manage finances when my lung collapsed and something like 140+ mefites donated to a rent/help fund to get me off the streets and into my own place for a previously unheard personal record of 3-4 years.

His brother bought my bicycle, new, by calling up the local (and fanciest and most expensive bike store in town) and told them to hook me up.

This is the same bike I rode off into the not even proverbial sunset that landed me here and now today. The same bike I rode all day today.

The same bike that basically finished saving my life, the second time around, some 5ish years after the collapsed lung.

I just recently named my bike, which is not a thing I've done before in my life because it's weird, and with all gender-essentialist awareness her name is "Joy". Which won out over "Serenity", mainly because I don't want to have to explain to Firefly fans that I'm not naming my bike after a spaceship, even though the resemblance w/ self contained sufficiency is there, that's not the why. Plus "Joy" will be easier to paint somewhere on the frame.

Obviously, the emotion I feel when riding is the why of the name, and it's a pretty name, and my bike is definitely a she. Grey, tall, elegant but unafraid of mud and hard work and real life, and she's seen some crazy shit, my most prized and constant companion and source of many things, including health and happiness.

Almost every time I ride I wonder how much I would miss it if I didn't have this exact bike, where I would be, and how much my life would suck.

So, re: His goal in life was to play the capitalism game, do as much good as he could in the world, and die penniless. Get out there and volunteer an hour of your time (time, not money) to a worthy cause.

Well, I can't weigh that scale. I can say, that on this end, it was mission accomplished, because that's what I do, and now do for a living. It might take me a couple of pages to list all the people I've ended up helping in the last 8 years, besides myself.

Part of my drive and what keeps me going on a regular basis is the care I was given through this community when my lung collapsed and a thankfulness to still be alive and be here.

I will have to try to submit something to the message in a bottle.

Big hugs to all who want them, I could use one.

And I'm going to go ride. I was going to walk down to the beach but I'll go for a ride.
posted by loquacious at 5:09 PM on June 26 [57 favorites]


RIP gman. So sorry to read of your passing. Condolences to family and friends and hugs for us all.
posted by Lynsey at 5:55 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


Oh, man, I am so sorry. I didn't know. He seems like such a wonderful person.
posted by Mchelly at 6:19 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


He seems, he is, and always will be a wonderful person.

gman, you're one of the main people whose voice drew me into the site, eventually connecting me with many of the most wonderful people I now know in meatspace. Thanks for helping create that thoughtful, earnest, and irreverent atmosphere—the record of your words here will hopefully ensure that your having existed will continue to nudge the universe in the right direction.

So, again, thank you. I'm glad and lucky to have been able to have shared the same timeline and planet and language to be able to receive and understand and interact with the words you put out there. Keep on keepin' on, champ.
posted by not_on_display at 6:29 PM on June 26 [10 favorites]


gman was one of my closest friends on the site, back when we both spent a lot more time around here. We exchanged a lot of Mefi Mail, everything from quick jokes to very personal topics, and just, you know, keeping up with each other's lives. He sent me a gift from one of his many adventures that means a great deal to me.

Then we both started spending less time here, and I'm sad to say, we lost touch.

He has always impressed the Hell out of me, but more than that - I just really liked him.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:55 PM on June 26 [13 favorites]


gman is a true freak. love him.
posted by JamesBay at 7:05 PM on June 26 [10 favorites]


I'm really sorry to read this. I always noticed and enjoyed his comments over the years.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:20 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


I can’t conjure up a mental image of Gabe where he isn’t grinning impishly. I first met Gabe at the 10th anniversary meetup in Toronto and many meetups therefter and he was just such a delightful and charming person to have in your company. It’s kind of wild to realize I’ve known him for nearly a decade, and breathtaking to think how short a time that really is. Even though we’ve fallen out of touch in recent years it breaks my heart to know that grin won’t be brightening the world anymore. He’s a good one.
posted by Phire at 8:37 PM on June 26 [9 favorites]


Mission accomplished. This one's for you, Gabe! Bike ride, basking on the beach and chilling out and intentionally doing not a damn thing at all for the first time in like 2 months. I even got clocked and waved at by some totally random transfemme person with their friends/family on the beach as I was chilling out, and it was good and a simple "Hello, I see you, and see you seeing me and it's a lovely day, no?"

I really can't quantify how much this nice bike has changed and saved my life, and has been a trustworthy companion and safe harbor and home and ship in a stormy sea.

I seriously almost sold it for way too little money for rent and cig money. The thought horrifies me today.

It's weird and a bike nerd thing, but when I first got this bike, it didn't really fit me properly even with a fancy bike shop fitting. I had my reservations. I was used to fat tires and 26" mountain/cross country bikes. Until recently, and more and more as I change and lose a little weight here and there, it fits me more and more perfectly and it's not just me adjusting things to my liking because the cockpit and stuff has been essentially the same for 4+ years.

Sorry to frame this in terms of what is an object, but it's a very special kind of object and thing. I don't think a week has gone by that I haven't been thankful to Gabe and his brother for this bike.

There's a really deep connection between that bike, MetaFilter, Gabe and my life and the fact I'm even here and thriving at all. My bike may really be the most significant and meaningful object in my life.
posted by loquacious at 8:57 PM on June 26 [10 favorites]


I went and dug up chunking express' photos from the 10th anniversary meetup and this photo is probably how I'll always remember Gabe.
posted by Phire at 9:12 PM on June 26 [12 favorites]


That's a great set of meetup pics Phire.
posted by unliteral at 10:03 PM on June 26 [4 favorites]


Oh, this is just too sad. I'm glad he is able to choose the method of his passing (so few get to do that), but damn ...
posted by dg at 1:33 AM on June 27 [4 favorites]


.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:58 AM on June 27 [3 favorites]


Goodbye, gman, and thanks for helping make MetaFilter great! As many others I enjoyed your virtual company here. I fondly remember your comments about Vang Vien and different entanglements with US and Canadian border authorities in particular.
posted by Harald74 at 4:12 AM on June 27 [4 favorites]


.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:58 AM on June 27
[2 favorites −] [!]


Flagged as Fantastic.
posted by gman at 4:40 AM on June 27 [50 favorites]


Boo!

I say there's no way in hell Brandon wrote that typo-free post. Although maybe —you did miss my 4:20 by a minute!

Burhan sent me this last night. I was wondering how it would go; it's been surreal, to say the least. I wasn't always the most liked person in the room. A lot of hate him or love him, but I loved it that way; worked like a filter (I truly hope this makes sense because opiates are a helluva drug).

I’d like to offer you all a bit of life advice that I learned a bit too late — the great cosmic joke. Take it or leave it. But if you are on the side who loved me, I hope you take it;

1. It’s the little things in life that count: to eat on your own, to sleep unaided, to have mobility, to have freedom of choice, to love and be loved. The rest is either bullshit or gravy.
2. Travel as much as you can — it widens your worldview and helps you with point number one above.
3. Give as much as you take from life (no one leaves here with anything).

Signing off with my real name because I never really liked my handle (gman). I never really knew what a gman was (true story).

— Gabe
posted by gman at 4:40 AM on June 27 [153 favorites]


...and this photo is probably how I'll always remember Gabe.

He does have a way of always looking like he might have just told a dirty joke.
posted by heyho at 4:43 AM on June 27 [9 favorites]


I wasn't always the most liked person in the room. A lot of hate him or love him, but I loved it that way; worked like a filter

Concur and live the same existence. I don't think you ever stopped me being the biggest arsehole in the room, but you pushed the Venn diagram out towards me a fair way, and for that I remain grateful.
posted by Brockles at 5:04 AM on June 27 [6 favorites]


If there's one more item I can add... I was surprised to learn that it isn't widely known that all of Canada has M.A.I.D. Most of my friends thought it was a BC thing only. Anyway, it's been two years since Canada hasn't had to go to Swiss to do the deed and I want more people to know they can take control just like they can with their pets.
posted by gman at 5:46 AM on June 27 [18 favorites]


I'm really very sad to hear this news. I remember sharing a cab ride back home with you and a couple of other folks after the 10th anniversary, and I've missed your voice here over the past few years. I was actually just thinking about you the other day, as I was reading the MetaTalk threads about the state of the site.

I'll do my best to make it to the celebration of your life and you will be in my thoughts.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 6:22 AM on June 27 [3 favorites]


to love and be loved

Much love to you, friend. I don't even remember why I was in Toronto and you were picking me up (or dropping me off) at the airport in a snowstorm but I remember being amused as hell that your ringtone was some variant of "WHAT THE FUCK?" You were always generous with your time and attention and staying at your place in Toronto with whatever dog was occupying your heart at the time (RIP Samson, you champ) was always the chillest Toronto ever got. I'm a better person for having known you.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 6:31 AM on June 27 [19 favorites]


I'm really sorry to hear this. I met you a couple of times at meetups back in the day, and while my memories (not just of you, the meetups in general) are fuzzy, I remember you as a very cheerful, gregarious presence I enjoyed being around. Much love to you and yours, and thank you for the wise advice.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:47 AM on June 27 [4 favorites]


Oh, gman, I will miss you. You're a real character and the world needs more like you.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:22 AM on June 27 [5 favorites]


You ass. I'm STILL mad at you for not agreeing to tone it down a bit for the site and being escorted off.

Because it was your posts that I loved the most about your presence here. They were world expanding, insightful and full of incredible beauty that reflected how you saw the world and its people. They left me with a sense of wonder, of something behind just over the horizon and more importantly, it was something good and beautiful.

I didn't really notice you on the site at first, except when you responded to my email pointing out that you were being an ass about something. In typical Gabe fashion, it wasn't so much that, but some obscure reference that I didn't know, but when explained it made a certain zany sense. I admired the fact that you admitted that I might have a point (yes, I'm enjoying pointing that out here) that you were being a bit of an ass, because you were going through one of the worst periods in your life (hello irony).

Not quite sure how we got to the point of emailing literally multiple times a day every day, discussing politics, life and random bullshit. But it was fun! And dizzying, especially when you graduated to actual texts and phone calls. Usually Lisa would be around and she'd comment on the strange look that would be on face after the call. Eventually, she was able to tell it was you calling simply by the look on my face. The deep laughter probably helped.

Thanks for the Vipassana, that was desperately needed.

Ok then.

Look, don't get all weird afterwards, hanging around and looking at me in the shower, you'll only feel inadqueate.

Yeah, I did that typo just for Jew.

Love you!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:00 AM on June 27 [14 favorites]


At this moment I am happy to hear that you are a master of your own fate. I wish you and yours all the peace that it is possible to have.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:03 AM on June 27 [7 favorites]


Oh, I am so sorry to hear of this. Thank you for all you contributed here, and the joy you were able to give back to the world. Your 3 life lessons are really inspiring, thank you for sharing. I'm sending you and your loved ones thoughts of love and peace for your final days, and beyond. Take care. <3
posted by Fig at 8:10 AM on June 27 [5 favorites]


Oh, man. You're one of the voices that made me want to participate here; even when you were wrong, wrong, wrong, I always admired/envied the confidence and facility you spoke with. Hell, you're doing it now and you're on opiates! Jerk.

You've created a pretty awesome legacy and made damn good use of your time. All the best to you and yours.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:44 AM on June 27 [7 favorites]


So I was really, really tired last night and I was operating under the assumption that gman already turned off his dumb old meatbot because of a major reading comprehension fail.

And I swear gman's account was disabled last night.

Needless to say I was VERY CONFUSED AND QUITE SERIOUSLY ALARMED when I woke up this morning and saw favorites from gman on my comments above and went through an entire zoo of emotions, including "Wait, is MetaFilter staff actually actively fucking with us or favoriting things in this thread on his behalf WHAT IS HAPPENING"

So, hi, gman. Jerk. Sheesh. :)
posted by loquacious at 8:51 AM on June 27 [7 favorites]


Gabe messaged me out of the blue about a meet up, one I certainly wouldn't have gone to if he hadn't. I took a lot of photos, and got told off by some randoms that my flash was too annoying. (It probably was.) That photo of his smirk is how I will always remember him too, but his Gay Jesus Offends Christians t-shirt feels like it also captures something about him. Almost a decade ago now, which seems crazy.

Gabe you are the best. I will think of something better to say later.

But not too later.
posted by chunking express at 9:21 AM on June 27 [9 favorites]


Goodbye gman - thanks for letting us say goodbye while we still can. You will be missed.
posted by fake at 9:28 AM on June 27 [11 favorites]


Yeah, I'm actually appreciating the chance to explore this whole civilized assisted end of life thing for the first time in a relatively safe way. I've gone through a range of surprising emotions about it, but have come to the conclusion that this way seems much better.

If I have the option of choosing this path I'd like to go out with a utterly brutalizing roast and a small riot of a wake where I drink everyone under the table one last time and I'm the last one awake, and then just quietly slip out the back door like I do.

*pokes gman with a stick.*

Is he done yet? Can we eat him or something? Hey gman, how do you feel about the fine American film "Weekend at Bernies"?
posted by loquacious at 10:07 AM on June 27 [8 favorites]


Will I get thrown off of MetaFilter for mentioning that I had never heard of Gabe before and now that I’ve seen photos I am wondering 1. How can I get a tee like that and 2. Gabe is super hot. How can anyone be that attractive? Gabe, you sound like an amazing person. Thank you for the advice. More importantly, thank you for your service to the planet and the community. I’m sorry you have to go. Is it too late to send an autographed head shot?
posted by Bella Donna at 11:44 AM on June 27 [10 favorites]


True story: Gabe had a decent amount of custom t-shirts made about various things, to express his views on a whole slew of subjects.

Please stop with the compliments, he's considerably insufferable as it is :)</small
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:54 AM on June 27 [7 favorites]


In lieu of all the people to whom I did not manage to say goodbye, or especially did not dare to say goodbye: here's my goodbye to you, gman, whom I don't know but whose profile dog picture I love. Now I'm gonna step away from the computer for a while and have a wee dram to you, too.
posted by Namlit at 11:55 AM on June 27 [3 favorites]


This is so freaking hard to write, but it's a thank you and a good-bye, all at once. I'll miss your wit, your attitude, your presence around here. But thank you for providing those memories and moments. Peace be with you as you choose to go out on your own terms. Much love to you and yours.
posted by PearlRose at 12:38 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


Gman bought my son his very own user account when he was born. I believe he funded many other newborn Mefites!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:38 PM on June 27 [8 favorites]


Not many people get to read their own obit threads (without pulling shenanigans anyway). It feels right that people get a chance to say good bye (or piss off!) here even though it's pretty damn surreal. I don't even know where to begin at the moment, but I'm sure glad that after 10 years of constant memails, whatsapp, email, calls etc I'm finally meeting Gabe in person insha'allah before he's leaving. Dude is a proper social entrepreneur and will continue to be an influence in the world. Canada seems a good place to spend July 4th anyway!
posted by Burhanistan at 12:53 PM on June 27 [10 favorites]


gman and I sometimes disagree with each other quite vehemently on MetaFilter and about MetaFilter, but he has never held that against me when we met in real life. He's an incredibly friendly, welcoming guy, guaranteed to make any meetup better.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:06 PM on June 27 [7 favorites]


Thank you, Canada, for allowing my friend to preserve his dignity.

Amen to that. We should all have the right and the ability to make this choice.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:09 PM on June 27 [7 favorites]


Will I get thrown off of MetaFilter for mentioning that I had never heard of Gabe before and now that I’ve seen photos I am wondering 1. How can I get a tee like that and 2. Gabe is super hot. How can anyone be that attractive? Gabe, you sound like an amazing person. Thank you for the advice. More importantly, thank you for your service to the planet and the community. I’m sorry you have to go. Is it too late to send an autographed head shot?
posted by Bella Donna at 2:44 PM on June 27


Bwahahahahaha for the win. I will have my wife send you the original tshirt in the post to Sweden. MeMail me your full address. We are actually allowing friends to select and take one of my custom t's of their choice. You'll be first.

As for a signed head shot, that can happen too.
posted by gman at 1:33 PM on June 27 [16 favorites]


Re-activated my account specifically to ask: now that the time-sensitive period has passed, what was the slogan in this askmetafilter question?
posted by Greg Nog at 1:59 PM on June 27 [15 favorites]


That is a very skinny cigarette.
And that is a very attractive man smoking it.
Happy and sad.
Admire your taking control.
It's clear you're loved.
Count me in.
Godspeed
(I'll add the period later)
posted by Stanczyk at 2:13 PM on June 27 [6 favorites]


That is a very skinny cigarette.

He rolls his own cigarettes! They were made from some super cheap tobacco that seemed like some sort of scam. We'd be at a meetup and he'd be sitting their rolling a cigarette like he was rolling a joint.
posted by chunking express at 2:22 PM on June 27 [5 favorites]


Gabe, Amanda, we’ve never met. Yet, through Brandon you have been in the background of my life for many years. I have heard many of the stories, read some of the emails ( some heart wrenching, some full of heart and love, and others absolutely heartless in their raw hilarity) and watched your relationship with Brandon, and by extension, us, grow into a distinct part of our lives. You have been there for Brandon so often, in so many ways, and I’m certain in even more ways than I’ll ever know. My personal favorite Gabe moment was the greeting card that you sent to us during one of your many trips. I loved traveling vicariously through you both. I loved hearing of your latest achievements and especially of the challenge in seeing your Mom’s dream and goals to fruition. And yes, Brandon benefited greatly from Vipassana.

I have always admired your love of service and adventure. Thank you for so freely sharing your story, your journey and your love with so many. Thank you for sharing what it is to live with character in this era. Above all, thank you for your friendship with B. You have been a dear part of our life.

Peace be with you both,
Lisa
posted by lynnshaze at 2:24 PM on June 27 [8 favorites]


Gman, I've thought you were awesome for 13 years, and I don't see that changing any time soon, despite your corporeal status. I am sorry for all that you've gone through, and sorrier that none of it worked. I am happy that you live somewhere where you can take control of your own destiny, and I respect your decision and admire your ability to make it. I can't be there for your wake, but I will sit outside, with my dog and the wild rabbits and the honeysuckle blowing in the wind, and I will cloud the heavens as an offering to whatever gods there are, that you are led to an easy path for your next adventure.

I will miss you my friend. Thank you for giving us a chance to say goodbye.
posted by dejah420 at 2:32 PM on June 27 [5 favorites]


Gabe also bought my daughter an account when she was born. (And in the process fixed the typo in my username.)
posted by chunking express at 2:39 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


I only know you through your comments. Thank you for being witty, intelligent, and for all of your contributions. I am so much more informed by your dialogue. I only made it through one year of college, so I rely on people like you to help me along, and you have done it wonderfully throughout the years. I'm so sorry you are leaving this earth, and grateful for you being here. Thanks again.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 3:36 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


gman, you are awesome. I wish you peace & love on the rest of your journey and I thank Canada for its humanity in letting you have say in how this part(y) ends.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 4:43 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


Gabe I have remembered and appreciated your comments since I joined some maybe, 7 years ago? I can't remember how often we agreed vs disagreed but when I think of your username I think of great comments. Glad you'll still be around a bit, and as a complete spirit woo woo goddess worshiper I'd be happy to send some prayers up to the Mother, to get things especially ready for you and for your oved ones to be able to assist and escort you. I am agnostic in the logical sense but a full on believer in the heart sense. I can also or instead of send vibes toward whatever your sense of support would best be. Much love to you and your family, and may you each have as much peace, comfort, and support in the time you spend here as possible.
posted by xarnop at 5:46 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


Gabe, you've been a voice that left a mark here. I can still think of an FPP or two that you posted that left an impression with me.

This is sad, sad news that your time is short. I am happy for you that you can choose to go out on your own terms at a time you choose surrounded by people who love you. I hope your passage is peaceful and calm. Thank you (and thank you to Brandon Blatcher) for having a chance to say farewell.
posted by MoonOrb at 5:57 PM on June 27 [5 favorites]


Goddammit dude. I never met you. But I sure wanted to. You shaped the culture of this place, and this place shaped me. I remember reading comments you’d probably tossed off casually and thinking, wow, I wish I could express myself that well.

So, um, imma use your pre-wake as an excuse to get drunk, k? Cool.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:59 PM on June 27 [11 favorites]


gman, I'm so glad to have crossed your path in virtual space. I admire your decision and your message to us, as well. Rest easily and know you made a positive difference. The world was better for knowing you.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:38 PM on June 27 [5 favorites]


hugs and shots and high-fives and punches and all the things in life for you.
posted by lazuli at 8:10 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


I am so much more informed by your dialogue

Agreed. And I thought it was so cool whenever you gifted an account for a new baby MeFite. Thank you, Gabe. I wish you peace.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 8:16 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


Re-activated my account specifically to ask: now that the time-sensitive period has passed, what was the slogan in this askmetafilter question?
posted by Greg Nog at 4:59 PM on June 27


I had to search through world events from that time to figure it out.

Apparently I let it expire, but it's very done with now, so: wecanrunbutyoucanthide.com

I got all kinds of shit approved with your Trademark Offices and a lawyer and Brandon. Tshirts, stickers, other stuff with all money going back. Let me see ifI can find a design... shit, so small

Then your zazzle et all sites started taking it all down immediately saying it violated this, that or the other, so I gave up. i.e.

"Unfortunately, it appears that your product, “we can run but you can't hide - boston 2013 ”, does not meet Zazzle’s Acceptable Content Guidelines. Specifically, your product infringes upon the intellectual property rights of the Boston Athletic Association.

We have been contacted by the Boston Athletic Association, and at their request, have removed the product from the Zazzle Marketplace. Please feel free to resubmit your design while omitting "Boston Marathon" from the title, keywords, and/or description."

Maybe not as smart as I believed at the time, but I liked the idea.
posted by gman at 8:22 PM on June 27 [6 favorites]


Aw Gabe, this is a bit bloody shit. I’m sorry to hear your health has been so compromised but so happy you’re going to be the ultimate master of your own destiny.

Your contributions here have been extraordinary, and it’s obvious they have been in real life too.

Hugs for you and your beloveds, possum.

Australians will drink whisky and eat cheese in your name at our July IRL in Sydney.

Rest in power. Xx

You’ll be missed. Your worth is incontrovertible.
posted by taff at 8:24 PM on June 27 [7 favorites]


Thank you. For all you've shared through the years. I'm glad you live in a country that lets you make the choice to move on in your terms. These are hard times, for us all, and you, obviously, especially... personally.

I wish I could add something that hasn't been said. But clearly you left a mark. My heart is sad, because I know you were "one of the good ones" - fighting the good fight. Thank you for your contributions to this reality we live in. For your voice on the blue.

I wish you and your loved ones peace when the time comes.
posted by symbioid at 9:46 PM on June 27 [6 favorites]


A life well lived is something to be celebrated, congratulations gman. Never met you, but I always liked your presence on the site. I'll raise a glass in your honour tonight. May your remaining time be filled with love, laughter and peace.

Godspeed.
posted by arcticseal at 2:58 AM on June 28 [7 favorites]


Thanks for everything, gman. You will be missed. Peace.
posted by Quietgal at 6:20 AM on June 28 [4 favorites]


Wishing you peace on your journey Gabe.
posted by NoraCharles at 6:22 AM on June 28 [4 favorites]


Oh man, Gabe. I'm so sorry. I've had this tab open since the thread started, typing and deleting, typing and deleting. So I'll just try to keep this simple.

I'm glad that I had the chance to hang out with you at various meetups, including the 10th anniversary thing at the Troubadour that you did an amazing job of organizing. I think the last time I saw you was 2012 (!) at The Pilot where you were intense, funny, and, as always, uniquely t-shirted.

You've really connected to the world and have given back more than many of us have. I'm taking notes -- COPIOUS notes -- although maybe I won't try to emulate everything, like that Vang Vieng venture.

I am really angry that you're not getting more time, despite all your efforts, but I'm glad that you can choose how to close up shop instead of leaving that last bit of control to the fucking malignancy.

Hugs and peace to you, your wife, your family, your friends and everyone else around you right now.
posted by maudlin at 6:41 AM on June 28 [8 favorites]


Gabe, I don't want to impose on what little energy you may have at the moment, but is there a way to get some photos up of your unique and wonderful t-shirts? If you're just giving them away, that's amazing, and I can't imagine a better memento mori for any MeFite. I mean, that photo of you in the gay Jesus shirt with that fucking smirk on your face is, at least for me, my kind of MetaFilter experience in a single picture. (And that is a hell of a fucking smirk.)

I sometimes adored you, and I sometimes wished you'd go away, but never like this.

We've never met and I don't think we corresponded privately at all in all of these years, but damned if I'm not tempted to get myself the hell to Canada for July 4th.

Do you want anything done in your name? Favorite charities? Graves we can piss on? You name it and I'm sure plenty of us will find a way to do it.
posted by tzikeh at 7:01 AM on June 28 [4 favorites]


The death with dignity movement is one of the causes I advocate for. If you want to see the US have similar laws as Canada the Final Exit Network is a good place to drop a few bucks. I'm not associated with them other than as a donor/member and as a contributor to at least one legal defense funds to fight particular cases.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:22 AM on June 28 [5 favorites]


And now I will tell a pre-wake wake-type story about Gabe, but also about Heyho (Linda) and also about Gabe's wisdom list for us above --

I got a MeMail from Heyho about a day before this post went up. I was a little freaked out and immediately put on edge, because my strongest "connection" to Heyho on this site was when she called me out hard without directly using my username in a HUGE MetaTalk about the "Hey, Whatcha Reading?" thread, and I didn't find out about the MetaTalk until it was way too late for me to step in and defend myself, and I was pissed off, but I also couldn't make any angry or self-righteous comments because the story Heyho had told in the "Hey, Whatcha Reading?" thread made it impossible, and I was just burning up in circles, and that was years ago, but it's the one strong recognition I have of that username, so I seriously didn't even know whether I wanted to open the MeMail.

(I promise this is about Gabe, and his wisdom comment here in this thread, gimme a sec.)

So I opened it, and all it was was a question about a comment I'd made like four years ago about how someone on MetaFilter had been incredibly financially generous to me when I was having a terrible, terrible time. I didn't name the person, because I didn't know if they'd want to be named. Linda asked me if that person was gman, and if so, she had some news for me.

Well. Don't I feel like a sack of shit. It's pretty easy to tell what "some news" is when couched like that. We all try to deliver bad news in a way that softens the blow, but there really is no way, since it's clear from the attempt to soften the blow that the blow is coming. (Shut up, Gabe.)

I said it hadn't been gman, but that I could tell what kind of news it must be, and that I hoped I was wrong.

Linda wrote back and told me all of what you all now know, and explained that she contacted me because she saw the comment, and thought it may have been Gabe, because he helped people (strangers!) out on MetaFilter (and other places) so often that it could easily have been him, and that she had checked with him first, and he honestly couldn't remember if it had been him or not, because (as I just said) he helps that many people, that often. He didn't even remember if I was one of the... I don't even know how to count it... number of people he'd sent financial help to over the years. To be that kind of person, I don't even know how to process it. I mean, yeah, I always imagine that if I won the lottery or whatever I would spend my life doing random acts of kindness to strangers. And I know I would. But Gabe hadn't won the lottery, as far as I know. He just did these things, and apparently he did them a lot. He helped out people he never met. MANY, MANY PEOPLE.

And Linda. You wrote so much in that email to me, and your pain was palpable, and I didn't know how to respond, not least because I was feeling like shit on someone's shoe for being so self-absorbed and defensive that your email was somehow gonna be about *me*. And then for it to be this. And you signed off with the recognition that we live in the same city, and said "Hello, neighbor." And I started to cry, about Gabe, and about the people who live and die on MetaFilter, and about my stupid self-centeredness and defensiveness, and about how I once again couldn't respond to you, but for such a different reason. All of the words are trapped in my throat, and somehow my throat is connected to my ability to type. And you deserve a better me--and Gabe deserves a better me.

Because it’s the little things in life that count: to eat on your own, to sleep unaided, to have mobility, to have freedom of choice, to love and be loved. The rest is either bullshit or gravy.

My initial response was bullshit. And then my lack of a second response was more bullshit.

I can't control what comes at me. But I can try hard to make sure I don't contribute to other people's piles of bullshit. And maybe I can learn how to make gravy, too. And from now on, any time I can do something nice for someone else, I will think of it as Gabe's Gravy, because I know he'll either hate that or wish that he had the time to get one more ridiculously obscure shirt printed up.

No dot for you, gman. Not yet.
posted by tzikeh at 7:28 AM on June 28 [26 favorites]


tzikeh, I'm so sorry I did that (and some other behavior around that time). I can say that I'm much healthier these days, and metafilter had a lot to do with that. And Gabe was, in no small part, responsible for my recovery.
posted by heyho at 7:45 AM on June 28 [16 favorites]


Thank you, Gabe, for being part of this community. Thank you for being generous to people you never met. Thank you for being frank, open, and honest about the end of your life.

I'm glad you exist, I'm glad you're here.

I wish you peace.
posted by cooker girl at 7:52 AM on June 28 [4 favorites]


Heyho, forgiveness should be explicit, and of course with hindsight I understand (and I was clearly driven by an explosion of frustration with a million things, only half a million of which were relevant at the time). I didn’t make my above comment to call you out in the middle of a MeFite obit thread — especially one for someone who means so much to you — but rather to show what a shitty stupid reaction I had in light of this awful situation. When you are ready, if you like, I’d love to take you out for a drink (or whatever if you don’t drink) in Gabe’s honor.

Stay in touch, neighbor.
posted by tzikeh at 7:54 AM on June 28 [15 favorites]


Oh man. I had no idea.

He was an amazing part of this site and I'm sad to say that's the only way I knew him. But what I knew of him was great, and a far better example of thoughtfulness and kindness than I'll ever be. My heart goes out to his friends and family and I hope the wake contains the amount of joy he'd want it to have.
posted by East14thTaco at 8:37 AM on June 28 [3 favorites]


I’ve been away from Metafilter for some time, and coming back to this was a punch in the gut. gman, I don’t know if we ever had much direct interaction, but you were one of the folks I learned to recognize early on (probably in part due to a Canadian’s need to locate all the other Canadians in a room). Metafilter, and you as a big part of that, helped me learn how to agree and disagree with people in thoughtful, kind, and reflective ways. Thanks for all the big and small ripples you have sent out in the world.
posted by arcticwoman at 8:55 AM on June 28 [3 favorites]


oof. gman was one of the first names I grew to recognize on the Blue back in the day. I wish you peace and rest, friend.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:50 AM on June 28 [5 favorites]


A moment ago:

https://m.imgur.com/a/UKz4sQ9

posted by gman at 12:29 PM on June 28 [32 favorites]


I hope the smile on your face is because you've been reading/hearing about this thread, G.
posted by tzikeh at 1:33 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


Oh Gabe my friend, how did I lose touch with a wonderful spirit like you? You were so kind and generous to me. The small shard from the Bamiyan Buddha that you sent me is one of my most treasured talismans; and the wonderful little treasures from your North Korea trip! I spent hours over your trip photos hoping a bit of your intrepid, world-embracing big heart and free spirit would influence me to set the shores wider and push the boundaries of my comfort zone. But of the lovely gifts, the most bittersweet was your sharing the moving experience of helping your Mom in her passing and then the launching of the Ethiopia children’s school in her name. Amazingly beautiful!

Some time later I saw your wedding photos and was deeply happy for you and Amanda.

For how short a time and the handful of mails between us, you had an outsize impact on my life. I am grieved your life in this world is being cut so short but I picture you embracing travels to new realms. My friend, I don’t know why I had the good fortune to have you touch my life in such a lovely way or why I did not stay in better touch, but I thank you for it and for being you. Please feel my deep hugs and love now. I wish you and Amanda love and peace. You are leaving this world and the people you touched the better for it.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:46 PM on June 28 [15 favorites]


It’s amazing how much of a nexus of kindred spirits that Gabe is, eh? It’s really fascinating to have a window into such a unique kind of inner circle.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:01 PM on June 28 [6 favorites]


Gabe gave me a phone call a few years ago and yes, it was about helping a Mefite in need. And that Mefite is doing very well these days because of Gabe.

Just so you know, I did *not* need to be reminded this week that cancer sucks. But that’s how cancer works, it just shows up randomly when it’s the worst thing to deal with.

I’ve been involved in a few death with dignity cases and in each case I’ve been amazed at the bravery and grace of those who can choose it. And it’s a perfect and final “Fuck You!” to cancer.

*raises glass*

“Fuck you, cancer!”
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:18 PM on June 28 [9 favorites]


Oh Gabe. Thank you for letting us know. It's a gift to be able to say farewell in advance. I am so sorry you're going, but I am glad you were here.

Hugs and peace to you and yours.
posted by Space Kitty at 7:41 AM on June 29 [8 favorites]


I was trying to figure out how to say I'm glad you were here. Spacekitty got it right. QFT: I'm sorry you're going, but I'm glad you were here.
posted by theora55 at 10:18 AM on June 29 [10 favorites]


gman, haven't been able to stop thinking about this post since it went up.
*36 years and the first time I've been able to say goodbye before it was over and
*that opportunity was provided by a familiar stranger and
*now understanding why my Dad's trying to give things away but won't write a will and
*wonder what i'll wish i'd said or asked before the day passed.

Thanks for all the great posts including this one. Gratitude.
Daniel
posted by fake at 10:57 AM on June 30 [6 favorites]


Also have been thinking of Gabe and this post since it went up. I can't think of much to express beyond what I said in my earlier comment, but my thoughts are with him and I just wanted to say that again.

Logan
posted by lazaruslong at 2:01 PM on June 30 [5 favorites]


This is a huge bummer. Thanks for everything Gabe, you will be missed, but you certainly have lived the hell out of your life, and I admire you for that.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:47 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


I never really liked my handle (gman). I never really knew what a gman was (true story).

I just wanted to day gman is a fantastic username.

I don't recall all the details of different disagreements here, etc. I didn't really talk privately, let alone in person, with Gabe. But it's amazing how connected you can feel to people on the old web.

Thank you for giving us a good conversation, even now. And the lessons outlined above.
posted by NorthernLite at 4:32 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


im floored, duh know wha to say. I love ya gabe, you make me laugh and smile...you do a lot of good in this world. my best to you and family. I have some nice memeories of brief conversations.
posted by clavdivs at 9:27 AM on July 2 [5 favorites]


Aw shit, I'm sorry to hear this. It was great meeting gman at the 10th anniversary meetup in Toronto. In just that small amount of time he felt like a presence, you know? Someone to be around. I'm sorry I didn't get to know you better, gman, though it was nice to see you around on the site for a bit after that.

It doesn't feel that long ago, but looking back at the photos I'm kinda surprised. Time passes I guess.
posted by ODiV at 12:16 PM on July 2 [4 favorites]


When loquacious was going through that bit of bother a few years ago, I offered local services as I could provide, being in the same city and all. One thing led to another and gman got in touch with me, asking if I could be of assistance in transferring the gracious amount of money donated by this community to loquacious, by way of my bank account. Well, I was younger then and less trusting (odd combination, I'm aware), and I expressed a certain amount of hesitation in handing over my bank account numbers to an essentially random if obviously well-meaning Internet stranger.

gman convinced me to take a phone call, wherein for about half an hour he swore up and down that he was a good guy, that he could totally be trusted, here were some people I could check with if I was still unsure, and that he understood my hesitation; but, if I'd give him a shot, this would all work out great for everyone and we'd be doing our mutual friend a real solid turn. Well, as it happens, I believed him totally after thirty seconds, but it was kind of fun letting him go on about it for the next little while. Impassioned and earnest pleas from smart, honest people aren't that easy to come by.

Needless to say, of course, everything went swimmingly. About a year later, gman got back in touch with me to say that he remembered that I'd expressed an interest in one of his adventures and he'd like to send me something, a piece of one of the Bamiyan Buddhas (cheers, madamjujujive). I'm not sure if he knew how meaningful that offer or that object was and is to me, but sure enough, right on time, a small package showed up with a necklace pendant and a lovely note.

The note has been lost to time, as unfortunately our ongoing conversation also drifted off for this or that reason, but the pendant sits on my necklace, right next to a few other very special objects I've gathered throughout many years. I'm not infrequently asked what all those bits of flotsam around my neck are, anyway, which means that not infrequently I tell people about this guy Gabe and what a fascinating, uncompromising, compassionate person someone can be in this world.

You did a great thing for a good person and helped me be a little better than I might have been otherwise. I don't have a better epitaph for you or anyone. During that first money transfer, you chucked in a little extra so I could get myself a drink or two as thanks. I didn't use it then, but I think I'll take you up on that now. Thanks for everything, Gabe, my friend. See you when I see you.
posted by Errant at 5:20 PM on July 2 [31 favorites]


I adored you. So full of life. I wish you a peaceful journey, and all the best on the other side, wherever that may be. The world will be lessened by your absence.
posted by routergirl at 8:22 PM on July 3 [3 favorites]


I can see that others have experienced the same kinds of spontaneous generosity from gman as I did, like an açcount here for Lil' Ubu and the Bamiyan fragment.

Just when I thought I was special, huh?

But that's the thing about Gabe, he has that very rare quality you sometimes hear about regarding people like the Dalai Lama or (I think) Bill Clinton... Somehow they make you feel like you're the most interesting and important person in the room, even though you know they're pretty much doing the same thing with everybody.

Compassion sluts I guess. Just giving that love to all comers.

He flew in to NYC the one time I visited, and although he was catching up with heaps of people he still made it feel like I was the reason for the visit, not just a handy pretext for something fun to do regardless.

I like his mention upthread of not always being the most liked person in the room and using it as a filter, because I believe he first reached out to me with a Xmas memail after I'd made a typically tone deaf (to some) comment during the Mumbai terror attacks, and his reaction was something like "dude, you're not allowed to say that, but just between us we know you're right".

Rubbing people the wrong way sometimes, but always with wisdom and good humour, coming from a solid base of staunch values.

We haven't been in contact a whole lot in recent years, as he's been off busy with his own things, and I with mine, but would sporadically exchange an email now & then.

The last was earlier this year, after I posted to MeTa an update about his charitable work, and as an afterthought I apologised and said I should have cleared it with him first.

Our final words in that exchange:

Gabe: "What's a MetaTalk?"
Me: "$20, same as in town. Of course"
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:30 PM on July 3 [8 favorites]


Hi all. Gabe passed around noon eastern time today. Surrounded by friends and family who all got to say goodbyes, and he delivered an off the cuff speech while cracking a few jokes. He went with a slight smile and no fear. A beautiful passing that few are blessed with.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:41 AM on July 4 [68 favorites]


You were made of the best sort of stuff. Thank you for everything, my dear, sweet, beautiful friend.
posted by heyho at 9:44 AM on July 4 [9 favorites]


Thank you, Burhanistan.
posted by Phire at 10:13 AM on July 4 [4 favorites]


around noon eastern time today.

4th of July? I saw what you did there :)
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:35 AM on July 4 [2 favorites]


If I'd had to guess, I'd have guessed 4:20.
posted by heyho at 10:37 AM on July 4


He went with a slight smile and no fear. A beautiful passing that few are blessed with.

I am so relieved to hear this. Thank you, Burhanistan, for letting us know.

When this post went up originally, I contacted Gabe privately to give him my love and to thank him again for the incredible kindness and generosity he shared with me several years ago when I needed it most. He sent back a sweet, funny response that ended with "I'll see you when I see you."

This morning I received an Amazon package containing a book I had just put on my wishlist a couple of days ago. No note.

I'll see you when I see you, Gabe.
posted by the return of the thin white sock at 10:54 AM on July 4 [15 favorites]


Thanks Burhanistan. I had plans to visit Gabe on Saturday, but they were canceled because of an emergent medical issue. I've been a bit anxious about not knowing what happened after that. I'm sorry I didn't get to see him again, but I'm glad he got to choose the method of his departure.
posted by grouse at 11:00 AM on July 4 [1 favorite]


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posted by chococat at 11:28 AM on July 4


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posted by grouse at 11:42 AM on July 4


Damnit, I didn't send a video like I wanted to for thanks because time is stupid and I dove back into work. It's for the best because I'm nothing but awkward on video anyway.

It's probably as it should be.

Monday I helped one of our local street youth when she completely blew up a tube to unpatchable ribbons on her BMX bike bunny hopping a curb or something, which completely blew up her anxiety and mental health because she was supposed to be on her way to her doc/therapist via a cab ride. She was decomposing and having such a bad time one of the volunteers came in and told me about it.

She has an old Redline BMX. The bike that Gabe and his brother bought for me 8 years ago is a newer Redline adult sized bike, so she calls our bikes friends and sisters and her bike has to come say hello to my bike whenever we run into each other. In fact, we both remembered the names of each other's bikes before each other's names.

So, hey, this is easy to fix. I have a job. There's a good bike shop right across the street. I send her off in the cab (which she'd already been waiting for, but was planning on biking back from) and I go get a tube and fix up her bike. I even have the forethought to do it myself before she gets back, because I have meetings coming up in that time frame and it'll be smoother all around. It's five minutes of work and a good hand washing, and my coworker gets his box wrenches back sooner, my meeting isn't interrupted by animated emotional coping and etc. Done.

I'm not bringing this all up to humblebrag about being awesome. (Hey, I know I'm mostly awesome, and I'm sheepish about it, it's ok.)

I'm bringing it up because I remember distinctly thinking "This one's for you, gman. It's what you would do." and even "This is really my Redline bike helping her Redline bike. They have the same function for personal mental health, transport, probably even housing."

I'd also like to share :

As part of a new program I helped train 6 young guys yesterday, and managed to go from them being bored and totally too cool for the gig to "Ok, this is awesome and you're alright!" in just two hours. I have a gift for teaching and I'm finally putting it into practice in the real world instead of just being needlessly right on the internet.

I got to show them and demonstrate basic coffee science, and we got all jacked up on bad espresso shots and even had them training each other and washing all the windows in the joint, even the bathroom.

I had no prep nor enthusiasm or much information about this and some reservations about this, and much to my bosses manageable terror when I was reminded of the program Monday night my response was "Wait, do I have that on my calendar? Crap, no I don't." and walking into it totally blind. My coworker didn't have much energy either, but they've been dealing with a lot of stuff.

I remember thinking five minutes before go time "You've got this. Just be yourself. Talk about coffee and what you do here and show them how it all goes."

And it went off really well. I remember after it was over, going out to the beach and sitting down for the first time in a while and thinking "Well, that just feels awesome. That's some good, honest work." and feeling a lot like how a proud teacher must feel.

I also would like to share that this site, the people in it, the acceptance and love I've experienced are always there with me, and that they often energize, comfort and sustain my efforts. gman's help and response to my collapsed lung and homelessness a bit over 8 years ago is a major component of this. I've been accused of being a hero/whatever? Feh. No, from my perspective and generally low self esteem I'm trying to live up to very high standards and do right.

It's too early to raise a glass here, despite it being some sort national day drinking holiday. I'm planning on using today to catch up on a report and paperwork.

And I had a thought just now, that I have something new I can be thankful to remember on this day. Some weird, warm Canadian fellow who invaded the US, single-handedly.

I assure you, life goes on.

See you, Gabe. If there's any there, there, you know what to do.

Punch God in the genitals for me, duh! That or reset this stupid game of Roy, it's dumb and broken and the game programmers need therapy.
posted by loquacious at 12:26 PM on July 4 [12 favorites]


Somewhat surprised he didn’t plan to go at 4:20, lol.

But whatever, at least he’s free from pain, now.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:41 PM on July 4 [5 favorites]


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posted by MoonOrb at 1:00 PM on July 4


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posted by smoke at 2:08 PM on July 4


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posted by Space Kitty at 2:51 PM on July 4


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See you when I see you.
posted by lazaruslong at 3:17 PM on July 4 [4 favorites]


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posted by Stanczyk at 4:15 PM on July 4


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posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:21 PM on July 4


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posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:28 PM on July 4


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posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 10:03 PM on July 4


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posted by arcticseal at 7:31 AM on July 5


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posted by tzikeh at 8:48 AM on July 5


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posted by Reynard Digitalis at 9:04 AM on July 5


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posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:17 AM on July 5


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posted by fake at 10:19 AM on July 5


DUDE...see ya in the next round of photons.

god speed sir.
posted by clavdivs at 1:45 PM on July 5 [4 favorites]


* *

* It's a star.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:52 PM on July 5 [4 favorites]


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posted by maxsparber at 9:28 PM on July 5


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posted by ChuraChura at 4:57 AM on July 6


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posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:42 AM on July 6


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posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 9:03 AM on July 6


Good luck, good human.
posted by not_on_display at 9:38 AM on July 6 [3 favorites]


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posted by klangklangston at 9:55 AM on July 6


Gabe's graciousness in giving us this chance to say goodbye, his bravery and good nature, the stories told here and the names in this thread reminding me of 15 years ago...all of it has me feeling some kind of way about MetaFilter today. Add another thing to the list of things to be grateful to Gabe for...
posted by lazaruslong at 2:01 PM on July 6 [12 favorites]


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posted by kimberussell at 4:14 PM on July 6


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posted by Wobbuffet at 6:48 PM on July 6


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posted by thereemix at 1:21 AM on July 7


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posted by Mitheral at 7:32 PM on July 8


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posted by jamaro at 12:04 AM on July 9


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posted by cjorgensen at 7:52 AM on July 10


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posted by arcticwoman at 8:29 AM on July 13


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posted by cooker girl at 9:48 AM on July 20


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posted by limeonaire at 8:26 PM on July 20


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posted by Bella Donna at 2:22 AM on July 23


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posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:00 AM on July 23


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posted by fraula at 11:31 AM on July 23


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posted by The Card Cheat at 12:24 PM on July 23


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posted by drlith at 5:32 PM on July 23


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posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:21 PM on July 23


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posted by Kwine at 9:52 PM on July 23


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posted by a humble nudibranch at 10:18 PM on July 23


Damn it. I did not see this post in time to say goodbye. But I am glad gman got to go the way he wanted to, surrounded by love and friendship.

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posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:49 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


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I was travelling when this was posted and also travelling during the celebration of life, so I did not see this. Gman was one of the first mefites I met when I started going to meetups way back when. I remember him, particularly, at the Metafilter tenth anniversary meetup. These past years I have wondered at his not coming to meetups anymore. I won't claim to have been close to him, but I enjoyed chatting with him and did notice his absence.

I am so sorry for his family.

Death is so stupid.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:53 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


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posted by lalochezia at 7:36 PM on July 24


Rest easy, gman.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 8:18 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]


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posted by numaner at 10:20 AM on July 25


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posted by ramix at 4:50 PM on July 25


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Dammit.
posted by rtha at 8:05 PM on July 25


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posted by Julnyes at 7:22 AM on July 26


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