It’s over. Jeff is no longer with us.
(previous comment included by reference.)
Oh, and you should still go to Yellowstone.
My deepest sympathies to you and your family.
Andy. I have no words that will ease what you feel. Time does not make the pain go away, but it does help us to live with it. There will be times when you’ll miss him terribly, but there will also be times when you’ll remember him and smile. My heart, my prayers, and my love go out to you and your family. Let God wrap His arms around you and comfort you. You will see the light in the darkness Andy. It may take a little while but you will see it. Pray and have faith.
My condolences to you and your family. I agree with Curtis, you should take time off and go to Yellowstone.
In my family, we hug one another when there are no words. So please consider yourself hugged.
Now go do what you need to do. We’ll all be here when you get back.
I am no good with words so I will simply say I am sorry for your loss. Take some time away your readers will wait, be with your family.
I am so sorry. My prayers are with your family.
My deepest sympathies for you and your family. At least it ended quickly, a blessing in its own form.
My condolences to you and your family. Take it easy for a bit and be sure to remember all the happy memories about him.
You have my condolences.
I’m sorry for your loss.
I’m so sorry.
I am sorry for your loss.
You have my deepest condolences.
I’ve been following this comic, and thereby you for several years now.
Cancer has touched the lives of far too many people that I know either personally or via the internet in some way, shape or form, including my own.
I wish that there was some word that I could say to make it all better for you and your mother.
But I know of none.
Just know this, you have a lot of readers and family that love you. We’re all praying for you and yours in some capacity right now.
Take that trip to Yellowstone, both for him AND for you.
Take all of the time that you need to grieve, be it months or years until you return to this, we will be waiting.
Thank you for sharing your fictional, and REAL world with us. We are grieving now as well.
And I’ll be praying for the 3 of you.
Oh my poor friend. I recently lost my mother too so I know how much it must hurt. I would give you words of solace about what’s on the other side of grieving but I haven’t myself reached it yet either.
Suffice it to say, you are not alone in any of this, always remember that. Always always remember that.
And hold on to the good memories. I am told it helps ease some of the pain. So far… Well, I just have to trust what others say will be myself.
I do believe that all things work out for the best in the end, that bad things (including pain such as grief) are just shadows we haven’t found the light in yet. It keeps Me sane to believe that, so maybe, just maybe it will you too.
Beyond that, I give the gift of friendship to you and hope that it will help see you through.
Sorry for the letter, but I felt I couldn’t just leave it at just conveying my condolences. If I’ve overstepped, I apologize. I do wish you and yours ease in getting through this difficult time quickly.
I wish Jeff safe passage on his passage to his soul home, whatever form he believed that would take. I wish you and your family strength in one another, tears in your mourning, laughter in your memories, and peace in your futures.
I am sorry for your loss. Take your time to do what you need. We and the comic will still be here when you feel like returning (and if you need to draw to maintain normalcy, we’ll be here for that too).
I am so sorry for you and your family. Perhaps you can take some solace in the fact you were there to the end–my step-mother (whom I loved as my only mother) died unexpectedly, with me stuck 1100 miles away and unable to get to her side in time.
I am sorry. And at a lost of words.
Requiescat In Pace Semper.
It’s a hard thing.
My mother left us last August,
I read two poems at her funeral – one she wrote when she was seventeen – and “Meet on the Ledge“, the song that Fairport Convention closes every show with (first recorded 1968).
meet on the ledge
we’re gonna meet on the ledge
when the time is up
i’m gonna see all my friends
meet on the ledge
we’re gonna meet on the ledge
if you really mean it
it all comes ’round again…
I’m very sorry for your loss. I know words don’t really help, but often they’re all we have to offer.
To quote Grampy, “Sometimes a kind word is the greatest gift you can give.”
I wish you peace of spirit and my sincere condolences in your time of loss.
Your father sounded like a good man to know and I hope your mother holds up during these trying times.
My sympathies to you and your family.
Many cultures celebrate a person’s life when that person dies, recognising what he or she was and that a next life awaits them. I’ll have to agree; a good healthy weekend party full of reminiscing about the good parts of the recently deceased person’s life helps a lot, for the people left behind and for the recently departed spirit. It can include a trip to Yellowstone (be sure to beat the next volcano eruption!) or other fancy vacations, provided you can afford it. Celebrate what your departed friend did for the people that joined him or her during their lives… I know I’m part of it with my recently departed friend Steve…
My condolences to you and yours, friend.
As someone that lost dear relatives to cancer, I know your pain. It might be trite but celebrate Jeff’s life and grief will pass through in its own time.
So Sorry for your loss Andy. Take any time you need, We’ll be here for you when you get back.
I don’t post much, but have followed for a long time. I’m sorry for your loss, and think you should make the trip to Yellowstone as well. When you get there, have one last chat with Jeff, just the two of you, and let him know how you’re doing. It’s tough, but it sure helps.
We’ll be here when you get back – don’t worry.
…slow nod… Yellowstone’s gorgeous this stark time of year, even lovelier in the softer, burgeoning spring.
And Andy? about that “It’s over. Jeff is no longer with us”? You know, the pain and fear part are over… the communication is staticky at this distance… but he’s definitely with you both, tucked way deep inside.
I’m choosing to believe you mean that Jeff’s pain is over (if you need a refresher, start with Spooky telling Ace goodbye and read from there for a few strips; you got it right, you know.)
Give Jeff a good wake, and then go let him see Yellowstone through your eyes; you’ll find it a healing experience.
And remember: “No man is dead, whose name is still heard spoken.”
My condolences to you and your family, Andy.
And I agree, you should definitely go to Yellowstone. He will be there with you.
My grandfather passed away two or three months ago… a week and a half before Thanksgiving.
Hopefully Jeff’s passing was like my grandpa’s… a swift end before the suffering took hold.
My grandpa had been declining, physically, for years. Mostly deaf, half blind, though his mind was still mostly there. Stubbornly making jokes after coming out of his drug-induced daze they put him in for a spinal tap.
Recently, though, they believed he had cancer. They were waiting on tests to come back to confirm whether or not he did have the cancer, I forget the name, that was a blood cancer and made his whole body hurt. They gave him a single round of chemo, which gave him all sorts of side effects, but reversed the cancer enough that he didn’t have the full-body pain. He was even able to stand and walk on his own again.
A day or two later, though, he had a heart attack… possibly the shock of the sudden reversal of the pain. They were waiting until he was stable to get him to surgery. However, he never stabilized… a couple days later, he passed away.
It was just his time, and there a was a lot of good elements… for one, he suffered minimally. For two, it was just his time. For three, I learned that my (immediate) family is a strong, honest, respectable family.
The only tragedy is that my extended family let their grievances turn into family drama. My grandfather had a horrible temper when my mom and her siblings were young. Then again, so did my mother when I was young. They both mellowed out. Bonds damaged in youth between his children and himself caused some of his grandkids to have little to no interest in his life, let alone his death.
He also did have some specific wishes about his death. We chose a different funeral home than he requested, and while we sort of respected some of his wishes for no visitation and no funeral and to be cremated, we had a memorial service and a brief funeral anyway. The funeral is for the living, not for the dead. The fact that we did not follow his wishes to the T caused further drama from certain family members, though it seemed more of just an excuse to further existing drama from that part.
The biggest lesson I learned in this whole thing is that while death is just part of a natural cycle, it exacerbates existing personalities and issues from the living – death gives us a glimpse at who the rest of us really are inside.
Let Jeff’s death make you a better, stronger person. And don’t be afraid to cry. Grief is natural and healthy and should not be ignored.
Spend time with your family. You never know when death will come take them by the hand. Hug your family. Hugs and human contact are a balm for grief. Most of all, though, love your family. Love them even when they are making life hard for you.
I’m so sorry for the loss. I wish I were better at words for this sort of thing. Strange how when one wants the words the most, they are the most inconclusive.
Take the time you need, for yourself and for your loved ones who are still with you in body. The only thing I can say beyond that is to reach for words which aren’t mine but Leonard Cohen’s – “there is a crack, a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in.”
You have my sincere condoleances. If you need support, you know your readers are here.
Damn. My condolences. I wish you and your family strength and wisdom.
In your grief recognize a small blessing: that his death was quick but not sudden. You had a chance to start to prepare yourselves, and to say goodbye. You didn’t have to watch him visibly die a bit at a time for years.
Now take the time you need to do what you need to do.
And if he’s cremated, take some of his ashes to Yellowstone.
obaki.. i’ve followed you since day one when you threw ace on the porch. i saw your ad and i clicked. i’ve been here for it all and i’ve sent prayers your way. i’ve never met you in person, but you’ve always got a friend in me. do what you need to. ace, the gang, and all of us will be here when you get back .
Blessings and hugs;
Now go be with your family, celebrate his life and remember he is always with you.
My condolences for your loss. All our time with each other is finite. The trick is to treasure the moments that we do have together.
I am sorry for your loss. You and your family are in y prayers
My deepest condolences, bless.
P.S. The two most recent comics are very well done; congratulations on that.
Morn Jeff’s loss Andy but don’t forget to celebrate your time together and the happiness that you shared. Take some time.. go to Yellowstone, heal and find peace in knowing that you shared your lives.
My condolences, Andy.
Good thoughts and warm vibes to you and your family, Andy.
Edna Millay wrote something that summed up how I felt when my mother died:
My thoughts are with you.
Dirge without Music
Edna St. Vincent Millay
I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.
Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains, — but the best is lost.
The answers quick & keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,
They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.
Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.
You have mine and my wife’s deepest sympathies for your loss. Always try to remember the good things about your time with him, and to let him go with a blessing. Take comfort that he is no longer in pain, and that somehow, some way, you’ll meet again. Hold close to the family that you still have on this side of the Veil, and don’t let this loss tear your family apart. You can all help each other to remember the good things about your life together; I’m sure that he’d want it to be that way.
We’re here for you, whenever you need us. We STILL aren’t going anywhere!
I don’t know if you accept virtual hugs from strangers, but -
*awkward side hug with the pat on the back*
Then Almitra spoke, saying, “We would ask now of Death.”
And he said:
You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.
– Khalil Gibran
I am sorry to hear about your loss. Cancer is a horrible evil thing.
Sorry it had to happen, but glad it happened quickly. I agree with most of the other posters, when you’re ready, take the time to do something for yourself, we’ll be here when you get back.
you have my deepest sympathy. I hope you find comfort in the love of your family and friends
There are no words to express our sympathy. No parading of our own loss can lessen thine. But be assured that our hearts are with thee in this season of loss and one day the sun will find its way through the clouds. Honor his memory by taking care of the ones he left behind and one day you will find peace.
I’m so sorry. I’m an avid reader, but I’ve never commented. Which is strange, because I always end up feeling I *know* the people who put my favorite comics up. You put so much of yourself into your work. And I thank you for that. I have nothing but words and prayers to offer, but they are yours. I cried when I read this, this morning. What I’m trying to say…it matters to me. I have never met your or your family, but through you I’m grieving a bit for Jeff. Through you, he is sped on the well wishes and caring of many, many people. My thoughts are with you and your family today. Be good to yourself in this time. /hugs
Words are never adequate, especially from people who are unknown to you via the strange asymmetry of the web, but all my sympathies and condolences go out to you and your family. Do what you need to, and we will understand.
… My condolences. We all walk this path and we’re all alone when we do.
Pass gently into the light Jeff and shine the brighter for it, gracing those who follow after as you did in life. You gave and shared and nourished, and that will never end.
Truly sorry for your loss. But at least he is no longer suffering.
Andy, I am so very sorry.
Be strong when you must, be weak when you need to. Come back to us when you are ready.
Peace to you all.
I wish you joys enough to outweigh your sorrows. You bring happiness to me and many others with your art. I believe in Karma. May you and you’re family learn to smile again.
Everything I would want to say, have been said already, so I won’t stretch this much longer, just wishing your mother and you to remember the good more than any bad, and I hope you and him had no unsaid words between you two, those are the ones that haunt us most, things left unsaid.
I have no recollection where I read it first, but to me, it is one of the things I have picked up over the years thta still rings true; no matter who we were, we are never truly gone until we are not remembered, and it is upon those left behind to remember us. And what Grampy said on mortality, how our effect continues in the lives that are changed by us, that’s one aspect of it. Gah, didn’t meant to ramble away like this.
My heart goes out to you.
Luna’s comments leave me with tears in my eyes. She expresses so well the loss and sorrow felt by those who remain behind.
Someone very much wiser than myself once said “There are never enough hugs in the world.” He is right. And I am deeply sorry for your loss.
My deepest sympathies.
Take your time, Bro. When you feel like coming back, we’ll be here. Take care.
Sorry for your Loss Andy
My condolences to you and your family.
I’m so very sorry, Andy!
Wow, that was quick.
It is a small comfort that it wasn’t long and drawn out. I’m sorry for your loss, and take care of yourself.
I am sorry to hear about your loss Andy.
Cancer is a horrible thing and you have my condolences.
My condolences for your loss. I am sure a part of him lives on in your love of him. Tonight I will raise my glass to the memory of a man I never knew, but who had a positive impact on those fortunate enough to know him.
To whatever place of rest you go, may you go with peace.
Your weary burden unshouldered, lay down your head and sleep.
Those on earth will some day be able to do in kind.
Feel no sadness for those you have left behind.
So sorry for your loss.
My mother is going thru Stage 4 Breast Cancer. It’s been a year long treatment thus far. Worst part is that she is a Nurse Practitioner and has been “monitoring” herself and “self diagnosing and treating” herself for almost a year before that.
Some days are tougher than others. Treatments have made progress, she says she feels good, scans appear to show improvement, but levels and tumor markers continue to rise. She’s not out of the woods yet. Hopefully, this week, they will identify the cause, change her treatment and make more progress.
On a slightly relevant note. I saw your posting about a Ghost Cat that came for a visit. I was visited by a Ghost Cat myself 2 weeks ago. Was lying in bed and felt a Presence. Felt something climb onto the bed. Then I felt the bed moving, the feeling of a cat “kneeding” and making it self comfortable. I thought it was my partner and his restless legs at first. But when I put my hand to feel, there was no movement from his body and the kneeding continued. I wanted to look, but didn’t want to scare it away. I wanted to try and pet it, but didn’t want to disrupt it. Eventually, the Kneeding subsided and Kitty was at rest. Just wanted to share that, to know we’re not alone in this.
Jeff will always be with you as long as he is in your heart. We are immortal as long as one person holds us in there thoughts and hearts. I’m sorry for your loss.
My heartfelt condolences to you and your family. I wish there was some words that could sooth you in your time of grief. When the time comes, when you can, do as the others have suggested and make that journey to Yellowstone. I have a very strong intuition that you will find Jeff’s spirit at your side when you walk there.
I’m sorry for your pain. I’m glad you had this site to help you vocalize your thoughts and feelings. Some of the recent panels have been pretty deeply profound.
My sincere condolences.
First off, my sincerest condolences to you.
I started reading this comic probably 5 years or so ago. I’ve loved the extremely open-minded attitude you convey with this story and your characters. I have laughed, cried, even wrung my hands in frustration where my (usually political) opinions differ from yours. However, I can tell, mainly through the stories you have been telling, but also through the occasional blog posts I have read, that you are a kind live-and-let-live soul who cares deeply for his friends and family.
Last year, I lost a dear friend to cancer. It sucks hard. It blows chunks. That feel when there’s nothing you can do… She was really into drama. The stage kind, not that “the world is out to destroy me” kind. I met her through church, and my wife and I became friends with her very quickly as we did stuff with the youth like plays, fashion shows, dance, stuff like that. And then cancer did it’s thing. We didn’t even know she was sick until we heard she was gone. It doesn’t seem fair does it?
Last month, on the day the world was “supposed to end”, my father-in-law left it. I’ve only been married for a little more than a year and a half, but I was with my wife for almost 13 years before that. (We didn’t rush into things, did we?) My father-in-law was a man I grew to love and respect over those years. He was a big goofy geek just like me, and he was a kind and gentle man. He was the most devoted husband and father anyone can hope for. He was smart, mechanically inclined, and oftentimes he could find a simple solution to some problem I had made more complex than it needed to be by overthinking it.
It was not cancer for him. With him, it was his heart. He had a heart attack back in ’09, and he had been doing pretty well. Then, Halloween night, he went into the hospital which turned into a 52-day ordeal of being in some kind of hospital bed or another. A few days before Christmas, we watched his life slip away. Literally. It was painful. His poor wife, my mother-in-law, someone who I have loved for years now, but had never really felt quite as protective of as I do now… it sucks so much for her.
I know it sounds like I’m making this all about me, but that’s not what I’m trying to do. I guess what I’m saying is, sometimes things happen in our lives that connect us to other people due to their commonality. They erase the differences. And when people like us (“like us?” hell, just people!) lose those we love, it can be comforting to know we are not alone. I know how much it sucks to lose someone like that, and a few days after it has happened it’s still very raw. I hope you are in Yellowstone as I write this. I hope you come back as rested and relieved as you can possibly be. Anything I can possibly put here to try to comfort you has probably already been said more eloquently than I can manage right now.
So, I look at the stories you have presented in your comics. You and I seem to have a very similar spiritual outlook, and I am assuming you believe that Jeff is watching you even now, saying very much the same things Agent Mercy said when she appeared in your comic. I have always believed that, myself. I have doubted from time to time, but I have always come back to the belief that what we call death is not final, and that the human soul does go on.
That doesn’t make it hurt any less when someone you have been hoping so strongly will make it… well… doesn’t. So, like others in this comment section, consider yourself hugged by me.
My hope is that Jeff makes his presence known to you in any way he sees fit, that means the most to you. My wish is that your family becomes even closer during this time. It is such a drag right after, but this is the time when you circle the wagons, hold those you love even closer, and do everything you can to honor those you have lost.
We grieve. That’s what we do as humans. Those who have gone on know we will do this. But I believe that the only thing that makes them sad is the fact that we are sad. Like I said at my father-in-law’s funeral, “I will laugh. I won’t laugh right now. And I’m sure I will cry a lot more before it’s over. But he would want us to keep laughing.”
As soon as you can, allow yourself to recapture what is good and fun in life. I truly believe those on the other side wish that for those of us who are still here.
I hope this makes sense and/or gives you something that can help you make sense of things. If you take nothing else away from this just remember: You are not alone! Surf Wisely.
The greatest compliment a life has, is to be missed when gone. You need no advice from me. You clearly remember the entire person and honor the memory in word and deed. Grief is a living thing, it ends when it’s time is due. You can try and cut it short or keep it with you. Neither works to any advantage. Be well.
My thoughts on mortality are best summed up by the Blood Sweat and Tears song
I am sorry to hear of your loss.
I want to add my sympathy to your loss. I started to write this a dozen times. It brings up painful memories but I want you to know, you will survive. The hurt will be there for a long time if not forever but life and your memories of him will help to lessen the impact. I went through this with my Mom. She had lung cancer and 2 years of chemo sapped the strength and will of the strongest, smartest and kindest person I ever knew. Lean on friends and family they will be there to help you (and you will need it). Remember also part of him lives on in you so be proud of his gift to you and teach it to the world.
My belated condolences and best wishes. Yeah I’m poor with words, at least when I should not be.
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