Glad Nina passed on the message. I’m doing alright, My back surgery went well, I went under the knife a week ago Wed. The real drag was that Leo got the news of his biopsy the day before and he called to tell me the bad news, we cried. but at that time they gave him 6 months to a year, it was devastating news and Leo was just trying to get his head around the news.
I went into the hospital on Wed. and had 2 discs in my back fused. Friday morning I got a call from Stephanie, ( Leo’s daughter inlaw ) She told me Leo was back in the hospital and not expected to make it through the weekend. He was not taking calls and on some pretty heavy morphine. Hospice allowed him to go home and a hospital bed was brought into the living room. I kept tabs from my smart phone and my hospital bed and reached out to the three tribes of HAiR that Leo had joined ( 1997. 1999. 2003 ) and told them the news and of his wishes, to have his ashes scatted in the field where we would gather the three tribes over the years and have our yearly HAiR Be-in camping weekend. Saturday came and I was still reaching out, keeping calls to the house to a minimum, I had still hoped I would have the chance to say goodbye to my best friend.
I got my walking papers from the hospital and my phone rang, Judy ( Leo’s partner ) was frantically trying to get a hold of Jamie ( Chrissie in Leo’s HAiR tribe 1997 / 1999 ) as she works at a law firm and Leo’s will had to be notified. I got a hold of Jamie but the business she worked for was closed on Saturday, and she had no cell number for the guy. I knew time was of the essence so I called my daughter who is also a notary and from the hospital we drove out to Leo’s pad.
We were welcomed in and I sat on the couch across from a hospital bed where my friend lye nearly asleep, but free from the morphine as he had to be awake for the signing of the will. He was clearly in pain but not in too much discomfort. We spoke of the Celtics, our last trip to NYC and of his real name ( William ) Leo Lunser, which he always hated, but of course being a legal contract had to be represented in the will. I told him that his Facebook page had hundreds of well wishes and that both you and Nina had sent messages, he smiled and said, ” Wow, we gotta read those one of these nights. ” ( Judy and I exchanged uncomfortable smiles as we knew there were not to be many more nights. ) After he signed I felt it best to leave him to his family, his son, daughter inlaw, Judy and her daughter Stephanie. I put my hand on his shoulder and said, ” Alright man, We’re gonna split and let you sleep. Goodbye my friend, you will be missed.” He openned his eyes, took my hand in a hippie hand shake and with some good force. I said, ” We are made up of like energies, so when you get to where you are going, you look for my energy and we will meet again. ” still clutching my hand he said, ” you too man, you too.” and he let go and closed his eyes. I consider myself a lucky man to have had the 14 years I have had with this man as my best friend, we had so many laughs together. He passed quietly into the night 5 hours later.
Disregarding my own health we put together a memorial video which was played at his memorial yesterday. We used Aquarius, What a Piece of Work is Man and Flesh Failures into Let the Sunshine as music. Photos of his life flicked through and were met with smiles and tears from the attendees. Inside his memorial handout were the words from, Hippy Life.( lyrics Leo always loved ) A peace sign adorned the cover. After the preacher said his words, Flesh Failures was played in the funeral home and as Leo’s ashes lye in his hippie bag next to his converse all stars and incense holder the congregation broke into a very shaky chorus of Let the Sunshine.
Leo would have approved and I am sure was there in the room smiling and cringing every time they mentioned his “real name. ”
Thanks again Michael for being such a big part of Leo’s life.
On Apr 7, 2011, at 11:25 PM, Michael Butler wrote:
Nina sent on your message. Thanks
How are you feeling?
Hope all is well.
Peace and Love,