Sunday, April 26, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
There are words unsaid - by me and by others. And Razz, I found the following poem you wrote (posted on Oct. 12, 2008) - I hope you don't mind that I re-post it as well as the pics:
I had a million thoughts running through my head
thinking about all the words we left unsaid
somewhere in the middle of horizon's end
I'm standing all alone while my heart endlessly bled.
All the thoughts of heaven are hanging on me tonight
while the beautiful hour is nearing its final end.
Now alone with my pain and ghostly regrets
the only words left - are the words unsaid.
There's a part of us that is bound forever
by the feelings we shared every time we kissed
like a leaf swept upwards by the horizon's wind
I am floating, rising higher, much higher than I've ever been.
But now you're gone enwrapped by hypnotic grace
I fall away from you, on this rock, that's become my place
cursing life, repenting, regretting with every tear I shed
to my soul 'tis my prison I share with words left unsaid.
I don't know who you wrote that poem for - if you wrote it for anyone in particular at all - but I can say that there are many words left unsaid by all of us. I would like to say that I admired your spirit and the life you infused into your posts. It lingers within, we can still feel your living words. Through your blog you have opened a window to your world, and you have touched and influenced the lives of so many. Can you even count them all? Let me show you (though inevitably I've missed a few):
AJ: Goodbye Razz
Col: Farewell to Razz!
E: Razz, Remembered
gay+teen+sydneysider: dear razz
Highwayman: Remembering a Brother Blogger
Jay.osa: To a friend lost
Ken: comfort ............ for Chris
Lunatic Ninja: Doin' Me Head In
Naturgesetz: Razz; In Memoriam: Razz
Seth: Loss of Fellow Blogger...
Sethy: It's always a sad thing
Shane: Thank you and goodbye Razz
Steevo: Fond Farewell to Razz
Torchy!: Remembering Razz
I hope one day I will feel I've lived the perfect life as you described it. And as you said in this post, "[W]hatever is beyond death, may we all get the version that we wish for." May your ashes be scattered to the winds in the places most dear to you and your family and close friends.
In Memory Of Razz
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
What more can be said that has not already been said by others in our group.
We will all miss Razz’s lust for life, his spirit, and how he shared his life with us. We will miss his comments, posts, emails, and the late night chats.
I will miss him, be safe...
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I didn't know Chris/Razz very well, except through his blog, which I started following just a over a week ago. But from what I've read, I have a feeling he would have liked this and found this funny. Here's one for you, Chris! Run to your heart's content! We won't forget you!
If you don't know the sad news about Razz (real name Chris), please go and read it now, then come back here.
I can't remember exactly how I came upon Chris, I think he started following my blog, or maybe I clicked through a comment he left somewhere. It was in January sometime. I do remember being impressed with his attitude though, although I was confused by some of the people he was talking about, particularly Ste. I wasn't sure what the relationship was, and I didn't have enough time or was too lazy to read further back in his blog. So I asked him, and he pointed me at a post which told the story of how he and Ste became best friends. It was a really touching story, but I think it has now gone from his blog, sadly.
After reading that, and more of his newer posts, I really was awestruck at what a fantastic young man he was - intelligent, mature, confident, well adjusted and with such a positive outlook and an excellent sense of fun. Not only that, but you could almost feel the love exuding from all the people he talked about - friends, lovers and family. He clearly had a profound impact on all those who knew him.
I barely knew him at all - we exchanged a very small number of mails, and had only one very brief online conversation. By this stage his treatment must have already been well underway, although I thought he 'only' had a broken leg.
With his break from blogging and the content of his posts after he returned, I, and others, were concerned that there was something a lot more seriously wrong than just the leg, particularly after his post about being depressed and scared, and the medical conference call. A short while later I mailed him, suggesting that he add Ste as blogging co-author, to help write things that maybe Chris would find difficult writing himself. Later that same day he posted 'The Scoop'.
My post that day was for him.
The discovery of his illness and the resulting life upheaval, returning from University in America, to say nothing of the treatment he endured, must have been unimaginably scary to deal with, yet he faced it with courage and determination and still kept his sense of humour.
It's good to know that Jay and Chris' other American friends were able to spend spring break in Brighton, although, my God, it must have been tough to see the physical changes in only few short months. You could feel how happy he was at being able to spend that time with his friends.
And then, only a few days later, surrounded by his loved ones, he was gone.
A new day dawns and life continues, apparently as normal, but with a Chris-shaped hole in it. Many people will be very sad at his passing, yet at the same time they will feel richer through having known him in some way.
I send my sincere condolences to Jay and Chris' American friends and housemates; to Ste and Cate and, of course, to Chris' parents, sister, relations and other friends. I can only imagine the grief you must feel. My heart goes out to you.
It always seems desperately unfair that someone as young as Chris should pass, but also very unfair that people as young as Jay, Ste and the others should have to deal with this level of grief at their age.
I didn't know Chris well enough to know what he would have wanted, but I suspect he would not have wanted people to grieve for too long, and would rather they celebrated his life. From what I could see, there was plenty to celebrate.
And so, Good People, the next time you've got a drink, raise your glass and give a nod to Chris. Give thanks as we remember the life he had, and think of the special people who are left behind.
from Brighton Pier, April 19th 2009
I think it's only right that Chris himself should have the final words in this tribute:
be at peace
Although the news wasn't unexpected, it still hit me like a speeding train and I spent most of yesterday in my room crying. I'm welling-up again now and I thought I was all cried-out!
I never chatted with Razz but we did exchange emails and comments. He was the first person to comment on my blog, and also to follow it. I loved his sense of humour, fun and adventure and his zest for life!
During my time offline while I was moving etc. I managed to check my emails one day and torchy! had sent me a copy of Razz's post about his illness. Of course I was completely gutted but I couldn't email him from the place I was actually checking my email, so I had no choice but to wait until our ISP sorted out our Internet connection at home. Eventually it was sorted out and shortly before he died we exchanged emails. This is an excerpt from mine: "... that since I'd been offline I'd been wondering whether I was doing the right thing by ridding myself of my home and belongings, and heading off to Spain. After reading your post (which torchy! copied for me while I was away) I decided that it was most definitely the right thing to do... life is too short and precious to waste. We never know what's around the corner, so we should seize the moment whenever and wherever we can."
I emailed him again with replies to some questions he'd asked, but alas, I didn't get a reply... now I know why. Razz's death has served to reinforce my thoughts, and my decision, and I will truly miss him for many reasons.
The following excerpt was taken from Razz's post:
Talking about death at the local
"at the pub, we got to talking about stuff. death was one of the topics of the conversation - a perfect one for such a dreary day. we came to the conclusion that if one really look closely at why he/she fears death, it is really because of what lies after death. maybe a lot of you have already realised this, but i had never really thought much about this until this afternoon. some would say there is nothing after death, whilst others may be believe in the heavenly afterlife, or doomed one in hell. for now, i'm taking the middle ground and say that there is an afterlife, but an afterlife where we have control of its quality, just like this life."
I hope he's right, and that he's taking control of his new life right now!
I'm going to try my hardest to get along to Brighton Pride this year, and while I'm there I'll have a pint (or two) for him!
God Bless You Razz!
First was the account of taking Jay out for coffee. After the breakup with Dave, Chris was reluctant to enter into another relationship, and Jay was really sad because of it. Chris suggested they go for coffee or something of the sort, and at one point he said to Jay something like, "So how are you enjoying our first date?" Needless to say, Jay was ecstatic.
Then there was the day Ste and Cate arrived, unannounced, at the university in America, and Chris arrived to find them waiting at his door. His absolute and simple joy at their visit shone through his post about it. [Correction: Ste arrived alone, and the housemates let him in. Thanks to Aek and torchy! for a copy of the post that tells of it.]
And above all there was the story of how his friendship with Ste began. They were very young schoolboys who got into a fight. Chris wanted to apologize and followed Ste home, but Ste was having none of it. So he sat on the sidewalk outside Ste's all afternoon until suppertime, when Ste's mum sent him out to invite Chris in for dinner. And they made up and became friends for ever. [Corrections: The day of the fight, Ste's mum finally gave Chris a ride home. Chris continued to sit outside Ste's home for four more days until Ste's mother had Ste invite him in for dinner. Also from the post Aek and torchy! supplied. All the more impressive.]
I believe the scripture which says, "God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God and God in him." (1 John 4:16) It is clear that Chris lived in the love of his wonderful family and friends and that in turn he gave much love to them. Surely it was the love he experienced in his family that taught him to introduce himself at the age of six to people on Brighton Beach, to reach out in love to ask Ste's forgiveness, and to form such deep friendships throughout his life — or as it says in his post "My life has been perfect"
I also believe in a life beyond our earthly existence; and the love in which Chris lived here gives me much hope that he will now enjoy a life where there is no pain or illness, where love and joy endure for ever, and where all who love him can be with him at last.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Miss you Razz...
I suck at putting my feelings like this into a post... but I will try anyway...
If you haven't already read on Naturgesetz's blog... our fellow blogger Razz died a few weeks ago.
For those of you who didnt know Razz from his blog Doin' me head in... he was 19 and from England and came to the US for college. He was living with a few roomies and fell in love with one of them. One day while running (yes, Razz was sexy and in shape, lol - how inappropriate to say... I know) Razz broke his leg... after a few tests they found out that it was bone cancer and he went home to the UK for treatment...
He was very brave and always was in the highest spirits even when he was going through some rough patches in the treatments...
A few weeks ago... he came down with pnemonia and just wasnt strong enough anymore...
We lost a great person... a great blogger... and I lost a great friend.
I know I never met him in person... but I loved Razz as a friend. We used to chat for hours when he was around... and when he wasnt... we would email. We were both starting relationships at the same time and we would take about what we were going through... he was so much fun to talk with...
The day he told me he was sick I cried... When he told me that the cancer had metsastesized before they caught it.... I knew that his chances were slim to none... but he was so strong...
I really loved you Razz... and I am sorry I never got to meet you... you were such a cool guy and I loved talking with you. I hope you are at some peace now that the pain is gone... I hope your family and friends were a huge comfort to you in your final days... I am sure they were...
You were an amazing person with one of the best senses of humor - got to love that sarcastic British charm... lol... Fuck... I am really going to miss you...
I knew when you didnt email me back recently that things must have gone horribly wrong... but I couldnt bring myself to believe it... I kept thinking... maybe you went on vacation to Spain or something...
I wish I could have said something more meaningful here to convey how we all felt about you... to convey how much we loved you... but I cant...
I am going to go watch some Shameless for you and have a great laugh...
I will miss you buddy...
There you were; quietly supporting Razz. You were part of a uniquely sacred time and you deserve our gratitude and praise.
I did an early post about how my dad helped a gay friend die from AIDS in the 90s. His story and that funeral gave me an appreciation of death, as odd as that sounds. I think in time you may have the same insights.
Perhaps the good die young, as cliched as that sounds.
About death, Razz had insights that both impress and amaze me.
On Jan. 12 he wrote: "we came to the conclusion that if one really look closely at why he/she fears death, it is really because of what lies after death. maybe a lot of you have already realised this, but i had never really thought much about this until this afternoon. some would say there is nothing after death, whilst others may be believe in the heavenly afterlife, or doomed one in hell. for now, i'm taking the middle ground and say that there is an afterlife, but an afterlife where we have control of its quality, just like this life. what form will we take? i don't know, and in the grander scheme of things, i don't think that would matter much. (is this just a version of the idea of reincarnation? must think about that some more.) the question i am pondering at the moment is why i chose this particular after-death scenario? i'll let you know when i have the answer, but for now, all i can say is that it was not to find some comfort from the promise of an afterlife. the idea of the afterlife essentially controlling what people do in this life (i.e. going to heaven or hell) does not sit well with me. i've always thought that if you want to be a nice person, do it for the sake of being nice; not because you want to ensure your place in heaven. i will not rant about this."
The other thing I like about Razz was his pride and joy to be a young gay man. His delightful combo of the ribald and sublime show a refreshing honesty that I admire.
Maybe Lifetime channel could do the Razz movie as the other side of Prayers for Bobby.
I'm sure ste and jay will see this blog. I can't begin to comprehend your loss and sadness. I'm sure you will remember the lessons he taught you and share his joy and zest for life as you go down life's pathways.
I'm going to tell the Razz/Chris story to our GSA group at my school.
For me that's a perfect tribute to Razz/Chris' self proclaimed "perfect life".
steevo in cali
He was 20 and died from complications related to cancer.
I’m a little bit numb from the news. I really don’t know how else to describe it.
Even though I only knew him for a short while, over the last few months, we chatted a lot and emailed a lot - almost daily. Despite what he was going though he was always positive and my role was to try and keep his mind off what he had to face every day in real life.
Don’t send me depressing emails, he told me once, obi-niv-wan, you’re my only hope.
It’s hard for me to express how close I felt to him, despite the fact that we lived on opposite ends of the world and across different timezones. He said at one point that I was like the older brother he never had. He was the younger brother I always wanted.
Chris made me appreciate life. He made me realise how short and fleeting it all is. He taught me the value of a good laugh and the meaning of courage. He was funny, witty, smart, caring and honest. He was one of the most beautiful people I’d ever met.
In a time when I was feeling detached and distant from the world around me, he’d managed to worm his way into my heart and make me feel again. And even though some of those feelings were of fear and worry and angst, it was only because he reminded me of friendship, and love and joy.
There’ll always be a part of me that will miss him.
Miss you, Chris. See you on the other side, mate.