Monday, 24 September 2012

In Memoriam: David Gower

On August 27th, 2012, my friend David Gower passed away at the age of 64.


What can I say about David Gower?

He was an atheist, but he wasn’t afraid of opposing views.  He was a philosopher who was respectful of others.  David was a true skeptic.  He would actually listen to what you thought, and actually cared why you thought it.  If he thought something different, he was always willing to discuss, but not disparage.  David Gower loved the truth.

David sought to understand his world, and the people within it.  He was a thinker who didn’t believe that the true answers were necessarily the easy answers.  He was a poet whose work deserves recognition, and who – in the times I saw him perform – never failed to draw an enthusiastic response. 

David loved the outdoors.  Years ago, when we all had more time, we would go on hikes along places like the Caledon Rail Trail and the Bruce Trail.  Sometimes these were also excuses for long conversations, but the reality is that David really loved to be outdoors.  He enjoyed camping, campfires, and seeing the stars.

The last time I actually saw David, we met at a pub off Yonge Street to have a beer, a meal, and just to catch up.  It was amazing how quickly we could pick up threads left dangling from a year or more ago.  That was about a year ago, because, with a young child, and running back and forth between two households, I just didn’t have the time – or I thought I didn’t have the time – to see him more.  I wish now I had found that time.

In all of our talks, though, it was very clear that he loved, and was proud of, his immediate family.  He spoke of them with genuine respect and affection.  Simon, Sarah, Justin, and Nigel, and especially his wife, Frankie.  David was human.  He was subject to the same irritations, doubts, and regrets that we all are.  But he never regretted the course of his life, and he was thankful for who he got to share it with.  We talked a lot about life, and relationships, over the course of the years, and that never varied. 

What can I say about David Gower?  He was as intelligent, as open-minded, and as loving as anyone I have ever met.  I am better for having known him, and I will miss him.


(The photo was taken by his sister-in-law, Alison Groves, a last campfire that he sadly did not make.)

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