Oct 16, 2008

So long, Jay

Yesterday I got the sad news that Jay Wilson died last Friday.

Jay was a retired engineer living near Sedona, AZ who began a blog after learning he had cancer. His writing was so exceptional and so good that it brought his readers along on his 18 month struggle in a powerful, personal way. More than anything, his writing showed such grace and dignity that even those of us who knew him only thru the internet felt like we knew him well. We cheered his remissions and were sad when he had setbacks, and the day he told us he had come to the end of treatment and was beginning hospice care we were so bereft that words were impossible to come by for a couple of days.

Even though we readers knew he was sick we didn't realize how quickly his health was fading, and so when he fell silent several days ago I just assumed he was once again so busy with visitors that he didn't have time to write. Sadly, this time things were different. Jay had asked a friend to post a final update on his blog when the time came, and yesterday the friend posted the news of Jay's passing. I was stunned. I guess you are never really prepared to get news like that.

I had written Jay to tell him how much I admired his grace, courage and dignity but I had planned to write a blog piece about the inspiration he had been to me and how much he had taught me about the quality of a person's character in times of adversity. This little piece comes a few days too late for Jay to appreciate it. Some things just should not be procrastinated upon.

The internet is a strange and wonderful thing when it connects humans who might never have crossed paths otherwise. I'm so glad I got to meet Jay, if only via the internet. I will truly miss that guy.

If you have some spare time, I recommend you read Jay's blog starting at the beginning with his first post and reading backwards to the final entry.


  1. I tried to post a comment yesterday, but it must have gone into cyperspace. Anyway, I commented that I had blogged about Jay a few months back, after following his story since the beginning. I, too, was very saddened to learn of his death, even though it had become obvious that the end was near. Please, please, please stop smoking. It may not kill you this way, but it WILL get you somehow.

  2. Susan You're right about that (both of them). You were the one who put me onto Jay's blog to begin with. I came in at the middle but went back to the beginning and read them all, then of course stuck with it until the end.

    PS Sorry about your first comment going MIA--Blogger must have had some hiccups because a revision I posted that same day also disappeared never to be seen again.