I just saw this on my Facebook. I’m cutting and pasting it here. It’s written by his friend Teresa Rodrigues:
It is with a heavy heart and deep sadness that I inform you that our dear friend Michael has succumbed to his illness. Michael died on June 6th.
Michael was diagnosed with stage 4 Osteosarcoma right before retiring, March of 2014. After going through an initial brutal chemo treatment which nearly killed him and took 5 to 6 months to recover, Michael started his last journey in this world with gusto, and a ferocious appetite for life!
He traveled, mostly to Barcelona, his very favorite spot. Discovered and enjoyed the best art, wines, food, restaurants. Looked forward to and enjoyed immensely socializing with his friends, made new friends and of course read many many many books.
He accepted his fate with resignation but never lost hope. Michael remained active till the very end, trying his best to enjoy life and his friends in the most normal and casual way. Despite his terrible illness Michael was not in excruciating pain and despite discomfort was able to remain independent. At the end, life was soft and gentle on him.
I lost and will forever miss my very dear old friend. I would like to thank all of those who stood by him and were part of his life. You made it all so much better and were the source of great joy and comfort to him.
On edit: Me again. I believe, although I’m not sure, that Teresa is “T,” whom he referred to regularly. I think she might be his wife, from whom he was legally separated for years, but never divorced, so as to keep her on his excellent state medical benefits. That’s what you call a good man.
Scout said on July 5, 2017 at 1:50 pm
RIP Michael. Rest well and thank you for so many beautiful posts about Barcelona, which is my favorite city also.
Heather said on July 5, 2017 at 1:54 pm
Godspeed Michael. I’m glad you got to spend your last months doing things you loved.
Suzanne said on July 5, 2017 at 2:10 pm
RIP Michael G. He taught us all a wonderful lesson about how to live while facing the inevitable end.
Sherri said on July 5, 2017 at 2:23 pm
Goodbye, MichaelG. Thanks for the vicarious trips, my friend.
David C. said on July 5, 2017 at 2:28 pm
I’m not much of a traveler so I enjoy when others share theirs. Michael did it so well. Thank you and RIP.
Deborah said on July 5, 2017 at 2:31 pm
Oh shoot. MichaelG. I will miss you and your wonderful travel stories. Amazing how close you can feel to someone you’ve never met.
I was afraid when we hadn’t heard from him in a while that this might have happened.
Kim said on July 5, 2017 at 2:32 pm
Aw, damn. MichaelG’s temperament, commentary and post-retirement travel reports were always enjoyable nuggets in this blog, as I find most of you and yours in this homemade community.
Though we are all terminal, I hate like hell that he’s gone to those who knew him better and loved him. Godspeed, MichaelG, and condolences to his beloved family. May those happiest times and MichaelG’s example of “enjoying every sandwich” sustain you all in the near term and inform you in the far.
I’d meant to do this before, but later today I will be on the hunt for a bottle of Straight Line zinfandel or maybe even a Jacopo Poli Vespaiolo Grappa.
Dave said on July 5, 2017 at 2:41 pm
Saddened, he shared his adventures with us, he did go and enjoyed everything he could as long as he could, who could ask for more than that. I frequently think of death as a cruel joke played on people who want to live and I believe it to be true in this case.
Jen said on July 5, 2017 at 2:47 pm
I am so sorry to hear this. I’ve been lurking for some time and always enjoyed reading his comments and stories. My condolences to his family and friends, including all of you who conversed with him here.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 5, 2017 at 3:05 pm
Blessings to his family and friends, and thank you Nancy for the information. Always appreciated his travel stories and spirit. Just lost a friend here in the area Michael’s age, burying him Friday.
LAMary said on July 5, 2017 at 3:12 pm
Very sad to lose Michael. I enjoyed his stories about Viet Nam. I also really liked the way he described his love for T. Small details like what lovely arms she has. He seemed to be someone who enjoyed life and good wine and good art. He also went out of his way to talk about the manager of a DMV office in a fairly lousy place in California and talk about how hard she works to hold everything together there. From this distance he seemed like a pretty great guy.
Charlotte said on July 5, 2017 at 3:19 pm
Oh my — what a lovely man he seemed to be, and I’ll never think of Barcelona without thinking of him. Peace.
Jolene said on July 5, 2017 at 3:36 pm
Very sad news, indeed. As you all have said, he lived through a hard time with extraordinary grace and great style. I’ll miss hearing from from him here, but am glad to know that he was surrounded by people who cared for him until the very end.
BethB from Indiana said on July 5, 2017 at 4:00 pm
Michael G lived his life with gusto, doing the things he loved with people he loved. Rest in Peace.
Dexter said on July 5, 2017 at 4:05 pm
Like a surprisingly large number of Vietnam veterans, he was never one to express bitterness; he just seemed to catalog the memories and move on, with his appreciation of Kaiser Permanante insurance as well as his grappa and French Laundry celebration dinners, and his love of Spain. My last exchange with MichaelG involved advice about, of all things, the Hyundai Elantra automobile. He knew them well, as the rental car company he favored utilized that model. He was blunt and personal with us nallers: in May he told us “…basically I’m fucked.” As Linda Ellerbee , who beat breast cancer twenty-five years ago via a double mastectomy said… “And So It Goes”.~
Jenine said on July 5, 2017 at 4:11 pm
A loss for all of us. Bless.
susan said on July 5, 2017 at 4:18 pm
That is sad to hear. Would that we all could live and die with such grace and high spirits. MichaelG was a mensch.
adrianne said on July 5, 2017 at 4:29 pm
I always enjoyed MichaelG’s comments and admired his courage and stoicism in the face of such a terrible diagnosis.
nancy said on July 5, 2017 at 5:54 pm
And those of you who’d like to read each and every one of Michael’s comments, 10 years’ worth, can go here.
Link’s in the right rail, too.
del said on July 5, 2017 at 7:05 pm
Goodbye, Michael G. It has been good hearing your “voice,” in this world.
Deborah said on July 5, 2017 at 8:54 pm
This may be weird but I don’t remember ever seeing a photo of Michael G. Nancy? Is there any way we can see one? Maybe he linked to one some time but if so I missed it. I always like to put a face to a name. I’m sorry I never got to meet him in person.
Mark P. said on July 5, 2017 at 9:04 pm
Michael seemed to be one of those rare ones who bring dignity, and even some meaning, to the process of ending a life.
Rana said on July 5, 2017 at 10:20 pm
So sad to hear this.
coozledad said on July 5, 2017 at 10:30 pm
He had an ear for bullshit. A tour or two in a colonial war will do that for you. The price for that kind of knowledge is ridiculously steep. I was envious of him, but not for the ways he’d acquired it, and not for the ways he’d have to live with it. And ultimately, maybe there’s some things we should protect people from knowing. Michael is one of the people our country refused the courtesy.
Ann said on July 5, 2017 at 10:31 pm
Deborah, there’s a nice profile photo of him on his fb page, which I found by looking for a Michael G among Nancy’s friends.
Little Bird said on July 5, 2017 at 10:31 pm
Very saddened to hear this, I loved his stories about all the fabulous meals he was eating.
coozledad said on July 5, 2017 at 10:44 pm
I know he liked this. Kate Bush not so much.
Diane said on July 6, 2017 at 12:24 am
Oh, what a sad loss. His enthusiasm for and enjoyment of life were such a delight to see in his posts. He will be missed here. Perhaps it is time for a sip of grappa.
Jerry said on July 6, 2017 at 1:43 am
Michael always impressed me with his determination to enjoy and make the most of the time he had left. A loss to us all.
Deni Menken said on July 6, 2017 at 2:10 am
It did seem too quiet. Heavy hearts out here in the ether tonite.
ROGirl said on July 6, 2017 at 5:09 am
He spent the time he had well, did things that gave him enjoyment, and shared it with enthusiasm. Sad to hear about his loss.
alex said on July 6, 2017 at 7:01 am
Michael G was a true member of the old guard here, long before 2007 in fact. I’m not sure if he discovered our community here during the crucifixion of Bob Greene or at some point prior to that, but it feels like I’ve known him forever. He will be missed.
basset said on July 6, 2017 at 8:28 am
One of our outstanding contributors, always thoughtful and articulate and he will indeed be missed. I just scrolled down through all 2821 of his posts, here’s the last one:
Thank you for expressing your concern. After three surgeries, two rounds of radiation and countless rounds of chemo, here we are. My surgeon recently said there would be no more surgery as the crap had become too invasive. The radiation lady said a couple of weeks ago that there would be no more radiation. Yesterday we had a meeting with my wonderful oncologist who informed me that there was no chemo left to try. The radiation earlier this spring did squat and the chemo just made me sick without doing any good. Last week I canceled my trip to Mexico because I didn’t feel well enough to go. So. Here I am. Only one lung is functioning and my leg is rather messed up so I don’t get around as well as I used to. I can, however, still go to lunch and I can drink. I haven’t been drinking but it’s time for a few glasses of wine, my favorite Straight Line Zinfandel and a few hits of Jacopo Poli’s Vespaiolo Grappa. I had lunch at Biba’s the other day with an old pal, lunch yesterday with the lovely and giving T at Mulvaney’s and tomorrow with another old pal at a new place that has just opened. I’ll try to comment a little more instead of just lurking. So there’s the update.
Peter said on July 6, 2017 at 8:53 am
2,821 posts! That’s just incredible. It’s comforting to know that the end was not so painful. Condolences to Ms. T, and best wishes to you all.
Julie Robinson said on July 6, 2017 at 9:20 am
Farewell, our Cali friend. I am imagining you as forever in sunny Barcelona, with endless sumptuous meals accompanied by the elixir of the gods.
Dorothy said on July 6, 2017 at 10:01 am
I haven’t checked in here in about a week, and for this to be the first post I saw just made me so, so sad. Michael G was a thoughtful and inspiring guy, for so many reasons. I’m sorry he has passed away, but this means he’s not suffering anymore. If I ever face anything similar to what he faced during this cancer fight, I hope I could maintain half his dignity and attitude. I hope his spirit is in Barcelona now, and he will always be remembered here so very fondly. Farewell, Mr. G.
It’s not the right time to share Nestle stories but I’ll do that another day soon. Suffice to say she is thriving at our house and is learning how to be a puppy. She has her own Instagram page! Quik_Puppy, if you’d like to follow her.
Sherri said on July 6, 2017 at 10:08 am
I lost another friend to cancer a couple of days ago. David Vincent, who was the official scorer for the Washington Nationals, died of stomach cancer earlier this week. He was a dear friend, a funny guy who had a dry wit, and a very generous and caring man.
Judybusy said on July 6, 2017 at 10:49 am
Ah, Sherri, I am so sorry to hear of your friend as well. I will only echo what many here have said, that MichaelG seemed a really wonderful, caring, thoughtful person. He was a gem upon this earth. I have often thought of him when I’m dealing with some trivial problem, and am inspired to to let that stuff go and focus on what is joyful and beautiful and delicious! Just one of the many gifts he left behind.
Bob (Not Greene) said on July 6, 2017 at 11:10 am
Basset, thanks for posting MichaelG’s last comment. I remember when he posted it, thinking that was his goodbye to us. I, too, liked his contributions (though I didn’t realize just how many there were), and very much enjoyed his travel stories from Barcelona. I’ll have to seek out some Straight Line Zin and hoist one to him. So long, Michael.
Deborah said on July 6, 2017 at 12:22 pm
Ann, good suggestion, that is indeed a great photo of MichaelG. Now I have a face to also remember him by.
I started reading the archive of his comments last night and I noticed he responded often to things Ashley said, as most of you know another of the commentators no longer with us.
Danny said on July 6, 2017 at 12:29 pm
Dang, sorry to see Michael is gone. He took his condition in stride and with more grace than could be expected of anyone.
Dave said on July 6, 2017 at 3:45 pm
Reading through Michael G’s remarks and clicking on a few to see exactly what the topic was, led me to other folks who used to post and seem to have faded away, most notably a Marcia who posted way back in 2007. I also realized I hadn’t thought of baldheadeddork or Whitebeard for awhile. Time keeps ticking away.
basset said on July 6, 2017 at 6:05 pm
i still want to hear Prospero’s story one day… always did wonder how he got to where he was.
Andrea said on July 6, 2017 at 6:38 pm
Peace and grace to Michael G and blessings to his friends and family. Sounds like he went to his end clear eyed and with dignity, which is a gift indeed.
Jill said on July 6, 2017 at 10:15 pm
This makes me sad. Michael seemed like the kind of person who made the world better just by being here. He will certainly be missed.