It is with sadness that I bring you the news of the death of one of our own GOV members, Jeff McLaughlin. Though he had not played volleyball in the past couple of seasons he had been a member of our league for many years. Jeff will be sorely missed.
The following is from his partner, Luc.
Bonjour mes splendides ami-e-s,
Hello wonderful people,
As some of you may be aware, my loving partner and life companion, Jeff, died peacefully last Wednesday, May, 23rd by suicide at his home. As you can imagine, this is one of the biggest losses of my life (as it is for some of you as well), and I am so profoundly saddened by his early departure. Like most of you, I am still trying to make sense of this sad and painful tragedy. You threw us for a major loop, my sweet!
That said, I do have hundreds of wonderful memories of lively and fun-filled adventures with Jeff, that will keep me feeling comforted and loved by him for the rest of my life. With Jeff, I discovered many parts of the surrounding areas and of the world through our multiple outdoor outings, hikings, excursions and trips. Jeff and I were also fortunate to have discovered many unchartered parts of our inner selves... which was at times challenging to say the least. I am saddened by the fact that my beloved Jeff was unable to continue his life journey... it simply became too painful for him the day of the 23rd when the demons won. Jeff overcame them on many, many other days though! You were a brave and resilient soul, my friend!
As some of you know, Jeff suffered from depression; he has also been suicidal intermittently for the most part of his adult life (that, he kept mostly to himself). Jeff was not the type to complain, so this is most likely news to most of you. As you are aware, being gay in a sometimes unforgiving world is challenging at best, and crushing at worst. Despite the many obstacles of life, Jeff found his way to me through our gay volley-ball league, and allowed me to get close to him, including the profound distress and fear of being abandoned which he experienced throughout his life, until perhaps his very last breath. Jeff however did feel loved by a lot of people, you mostly among others, and allowed himself to be loved and to love in return. As you can imagine, his particular sense of humour was also an integral part of our relationship, as it was most likely part of the one you shared with him. We will miss your spunky humour, mon tit coune!
I am so deeply touched he was not able to see in himself what I was so privileged to discover and experience over the years –and what he so delicately allowed me to share with him in terms of the person he was, including our 1 1/2 year hiatus, as painful and necessary as this was for both of us. I need to remember that pain is often a necessary passage to growth. I’m still learning, mon beau chouchou d’amour... and am also losing weight because of you once again: bonus for me!
I wish to thank each and everyone of you for having been part of Jeff’s life and my own, and for having celebrated our relationship with us over the past 5 1/2 years (since December 1st 2006), which has been so reassuring and gave us an opportunity to further strengthen our bond. It has not always been easy but it has been a major life-learning and growing experience for the two of us. And most of all, I had the opportunity to have some of the very most joyous and intimate moments of my life, and for this, I will always be grateful to my sweet loving Jeff: oui, j’aime toi beaucoup, mon beau Jeff d’amour, et je te get, comme tu m’as getté!
In order to celebrate Jeff’s life, there will be two memorials:
Jeff's service will be in St Thomas, Ontario this Saturday, June 2nd:
Visitation: 10:00 am
Service: 11:00 am
Williams Funeral Home
45 Elgin Street
St. Thomas, Ontario N5R 3L9
There will also be a memorial in Ottawa which will be held in the “party room” of my building, The Britannia:
“In the Loving Memory of Jeff”
Saturday, June 9th starting at 11:00 am.
415 Greenview Avenue (corner of Pinecrest and Carling), Ottawa, ON, K2B 8G5.
For parking, you may park up the ramp as all 40 spaces are for visitors.
In the entrance/lobby, there will be a sign with a ring number for the party room; simply dial it and someone will let you in.
Feel free to bring anything that reminds you of Jeff. We’ll ask people to share some of their best memories with him... We expect lots of funky stories. ;-) Let us remember Jeff’s wonderful smile!!
Hoping to see you in great numbers and great spirits as this memorial is meant to celebrate and share Jeff’s life and memories the way he would have liked us to: with humour, fun, jest and spontaneity! It’s also okay to be sad and cry.