It’s been a year and two days since our friend Will Rohrer passed away. I miss him- his soft voice, his vulnerability, his chuckle. He had had a tough life, but he was was still such a tender guy.
I count it as one of my greatest privileges to have been there with him when he died, along with Erinn and a few other members of his “chosen family”. We gathered around his bed in the emergency room at St. Jo’s and shared stories about our friend, as we kept him company during his final couple of hours.
Erinn and I hadn’t even met some of the other people around Will’s bed before that day, but each had been his friend and an important part of his care team in various ways. As we shared in the sacredness of those hours with Will, we developed a pretty special bond. That was one of Will’s great gifts- the ability to bring people together, make connections, and form community. Even after his death, through his visitation, funeral and burial, he brought people together in a really unique and beautiful way.
Erinn and I had the weighty privilege of being chosen by Will to share the role of his Power of Attorney. This was an honour, and came with a lot of learning for me. I had never been someone’s POA before, and I quickly realized that it was a pretty big deal. As tough as it was in a lot of ways, I’m grateful to Will for providing me with that piece of my ongoing education. And I’m grateful that he had the insight to ask Erinn and I to share this role – I would have been quite lost without her experience and wisdom.
Will was a special dude. He is missed. At drop-in yesterday we lit a candle beside his photo, and played Q107 on the radio (he was a rocker). One of his friends drew a picture for him, which we put by his photo. Though he’s been gone for a year, his impact is still very much felt.
Thanks for everything, Will.
This is very moving, Joanna. You write well.