Monday, February 8, 2016

Saying Good-bye to Walt

2015 was an exceptional year in so many ways. Most importantly it was the last year in the life of my love and life partner, Walt Pascoe 1958 - 2015. Walt had been ill for the past four years but we managed to live those four years fully and with great enthusiasm. 

Evening light as we enter Grand Tetons National Park, Wyoming
Wild beauty in the Montana sky and open space.
Walt chose to focus on living Life rather then on his impending departure from Life. When you know the man you love doesn't have much time left on earth everything sharpens into focus. Small ordinary things become extraordinary and beautiful. 

Watching the sunset over the Pacific Ocean in Oregon on July 4th

Magical window in Sparkling Hills Spa (a gift from the universe)

Roadside Picnic at Duffy Lake
Chesterman Beach, Tofino in the Blue Hour

This past summer Walt and I made the road trip of a life time. Travelling over 10,000 miles in two months, we saw unparalleled beauty and experienced extraordinary love everywhere we travelled. It truly was a "Trip the Light Fantastic" adventure. 

Northern Ontario June 2015
Northern Ontario June 201

We didn't speak of Walt's illness too often, only when it became necessary to rest or pause so he could catch his breath. Often I felt like I was travelling with a bodhisattva as his gentle spirit and kindness radiated brighter ever day. As his body declined his inner light seemed to increase. As he grew quieter his presence grew stronger. Walt managed to elevate the spirit of every person and place we visited on that journey, including mine.

At our friend's camp on Galliano Island, BC
By the time we returned to his home in Litchfield, CT the cancer had spread yet again and he had to undergo more horrendous treatments. We did manage to visit Walt's beloved Adirondacks a couple of times in the midst of those treatments which was balm for his soul.

Evening Paddle on Upper Saranac Lake
Resting at Buttermilk Falls
Throughout these difficult years and often even during treatments, Walt would continue to work on his art. We both shared a passion for our work and loved to discuss and explore our ideas together as we worked side by side. Just before Walt died he had one final burst of life and participated in our Group of Six Montreal Painters exhibiton in December.

Walt talking about his work
Taking a bow
Theresa Passarello, Demetrios Papakostas, Darlene St Georges, Walt Pascoe, Holly Friesen, Dominique Normand
I will be eternally grateful for having had this man in my life. We lived a full lifetime in those brief six years. He brought so much depth and breadth to my whole life that it will help to sustain me as I go forward without him. I miss him every day, every minute, every second. I miss our conversations, our walks, working side by side, cooking side by side, listening to jazz and drinking wine together, laughing together, making plans together, looking at art together but most of all dancing through life together with all that Love surrounding us.
You and me, baby. Always.

Dancing in the Studio

Sunset on Chesterman Beach, Tofino, BC

where you can contribute your voice, see photos and read stories by others of Walt's life.


Elly said...

I am so moved by this Holly. Even though I do not know you and Walt in real life, these virtual moments are very poignant and I had the feeling to share a bit in your delights and sorrows. Stay with the light Hollyand thank you for posting this Maureen.

Holly Friesen said...

Thank-you for taking the time to read and then comment on this post Elly. I truly appreciate it. Maureen is always so generous in sharing other's work and posts. Much gratitude all round.

Unknown said...

Oh sigh. To know such a love is a privilege in and of itself. To know it so briefly is harsh. Moving post Holly, and a life lesson shared: none of us know how much time we have. But what we do know is that every day lived fully and happily is a great day worth remembering. Thank you for sharing this post!

Unknown said...

Such beautiful photos and sentiments to contemplate expressed here Holly. I can offer no words of consolation that would assuage your pain and great loss. What I do know is how Walt's love and light changed your paintings and that will continue to shine through you into the future. Walt brought a peace to your soul and it was reflected in the way you became more comfortable with your art. You became more confident and, more importantly, relaxed in the love of a good man and, as a result, have produced extraordinary work these past few years. We can never really overcome great love lost too soon. We learn to live with it and, in time, the immediate pain translates into a beautiful memory of how lucky you were to share these moments in eternity with such a beautiful person and all the gifts they brought to your life. God Bless.

isa said...

Holly, your blog, photos, memorial and love for Walt are so moving. Both of your paintings, photos, thoughts and the journeys you have taken together are a story of true love. You bless us all in the sharing. W

ith gratitude, Isabelle

Unknown said...

Ohhh, Holly. Thank you for sharing this beautiful Walt tribute. For those of us that never had the pleasure of meeting him, you've succeeded very well in introducing us to this obviously great man. Fabulous photos, wonderful loving words...he lives on through your love for him. Strength to you, Holly. There is no doubt that he looks upon you proudly. Forever.

Brenda and Rick Kozlan said...

so very wonderful. Peace Brenda

Katherine C. James said...

So beautiful, Holly. Walt was an extraordinary person, even in the way I knew him, which was never in real life. So many people, those who had met him, and those who knew him virtually as I did, could see the power of the wisdom and grace he carried. It remains one of the most perplexing parts of living a rich and full life, that with great love comes the risk of deep sorrow. Feeling the full power of the grief after a loss as big as your loss—I think you and Walt were truly soul mates—is a gift, though it does not feel like one while we are in the eye of it. Thinking of you. Sending you love.

kathymadison said...

Reading your words makes me remember that none of us knows how much time on this earth we have & how wonderful if we can use our time as wisely and wholeheartedly as you and Walt chose to do, embracing the fullness of it with all its joy and sorrow. Thank you Holly and I pray that you find comfort to your sorrow in these days ahead as you continue to embrace this incredible, mysterious life. sending love and a big hug, kathy

Susan Champlin said...

Holly, this is the most beautiful expression of the creative, expansive, enriching, and deeply loving partnership that you and Walt shared. Your relationship is such an inspiration, including to those of us who only hold virtual hands with you across the miles. I ache for your loss; I celebrate the extraordinary love and creative energy you shared. xoxo

Holly Friesen said...

I thank you all for your incredibly kind support and comments. Your words mean a lot to me and I carry you all in my heart with much gratitude.

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