In Memoriam: WordPress Blogger Bryan Edmondson

Bryan21965-2013

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With great sadness I report that fellow writer, WordPress blogger, and friend Bryan S. Edmondson has died after a 6-year battle with cancer. Bryan created content for several blogs over the years, including “Weird Dude,” “Noodle Toes,” and “Monkey Wrench,” and he was becoming quite involved in video production when the final, terminal phase of his sickness struck several months ago.

His sense of humor was unique, bizarre, and not-at-all appropriate for those easily offended… which means he cracked me up more times than I can count. Even in the grip of stage-4 melanoma and the grueling medical treatments that go with it, Bryan never stopped sending me hysterical, off-color emails. Every time one of his messages appeared ready to drift into sentimentality, he’d yank the chair away with a shocking punchline and make me fall on my butt, laughing.

Bryan was one of my select beta readers as well, as I was for him, and we frequently exchanged ideas and suggestions about the craft. His writing style leaned toward the Gothic imagery of Poe and Lovecraft, and, for such a funny guy, he could create some pretty dark, hellish settings and scenes. He disparaged his own writing as detail heavy and old fashioned, but he created such vivid images in ways I could never imagine. I’m sure, if not for his long illness, he would have been prolific and found an eager audience ready to explore his dark labyrinths full of demons, shadows, and mystery.

The last thing Bryan would want is a mushy send-off, so, in that spirit…

Cheers, my friend. You will be missed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Advertisements

48 responses to “In Memoriam: WordPress Blogger Bryan Edmondson

  • M. R.

    48. And I thought fate had dealt me the worst possible blow when my beloved husband died at 68. That’s the thing about melanoma: it gets the young so often. You are right, EJB: he would be very happy with your non-soppy post. Well done, oh well done!

  • Jill Weatherholt

    I’m sorry for the loss of your friend, Eric. This is a lovely tribute.

    • ericjbaker

      Thank you, Jill. The real loss belongs to his parents, because no parent wants to outlive a child. Hopefully, in some small way, the kind wishes of good people like you can soften the sting at least for a moment.

  • Adam Hughes

    oh,I am sorry. So sad.

  • LindaGHill

    I’m sorry for your loss, Eric. May his words and his spirit live on.

  • Sun-dipped African

    My condolences for your loss Eric. In the spirit of not being mushy, he sounds like he was a damn awesome dude.

    • ericjbaker

      He had a tough life with a lot of health issues, but you’d never know to talk to him. He was in the middle of all kinds of harrowing treatments, yet I practically had to beg him for info about his health. He was more worried about how my writing and music was going.

      • Sun-dipped African

        I read this story recently about illness and human frailty and our clinging to hope and truth. It explores the sort of people illness makes us into and our impassioned resistance to hold onto the world outside the hospital bed with all its beauty and miraculousness. I thought you might be interested to read it, maybe it will give some insight into your friend’s mind-frame during the tough times in his life. I don’t know, maybe not. Here’s the link anyway: http://www.african-writing.com/eleven/chiew.htm
        I apologise if I’m bothering about things you don’t want to think about.

  • skywalkerstoryteller

    Condolences and prayers. Really moving and appropriate tribute. Oddly enough, earlier today I was thinking of how do bloggers know when one is sick or dies. Guess that’s why we communicate.

    • ericjbaker

      I’ve thought of that myself. Perhaps it’s a bit self-centered and morbid, but I wonder what would happen if my journey came to an abrupt, unexpected end. Would people assume I lost interest in blogging, or perhaps that I was upset with them and not responding to their comments? Bryan still has a blog up (the last few posts were reblogs of my posts, because he was too ill to concentrate on creating content), and I don’t think his readers are aware he was sick. Maybe they will find their way over to this post if they get to wondering where he went.

      Thank you for the comment, Sky.

  • Dave

    Sorry about the loss of your good friend, Eric. I know how tough that can be. He sounded like a great guy.

  • 1WriteWay

    I’m so sorry, Eric. My condolences to you and to Bryan’s family.

  • nrhatch

    Thanks for letting us know, Eric.

    I’m going to miss Bryan’s input ~ I never would have guessed that he was battling melanoma from his upbeat comments.

    • ericjbaker

      I didn’t know until about 2 years ago that he had been fighting cancer. In one of his posts he made a joke about the disease, and I emailed him and advised him to change it because I thought it would alienate his readers (who, admittedly, were used to his bawdy humor and edgy material). He simply said, ‘Oh, maybe you’re right.” Only a few months later he told me the cancer had returned. I said, “Returned???”

  • Uzoma

    I’m saddened by the news of your friend’s passing. I did come across his comments several times on your blog and in all, there is wisdom in his contributions.

    You guys were really close and this tribute says it all. May his soul find eternal rest.

    • ericjbaker

      Thanks for your comments, Uzo. I wanted to find the right tone in the post above, and it sounds like I did, based on your words… I was his friend, but not his family member, and it would be wrong for me to appropriate their suffering. I am sad about his death, but I’ve known it was coming for many months. He was terminally ill. I will miss him, and not hearing from him leaves an empty spot in my life. However, I will continue to move forward like we all do when we lose a friend. When it is one’s own flesh and blood who dies… especially one’s child… I don’t think people can fully recover from that kind of loss.

  • change it up editing

    I wish I’d known Bryan, and I’m sorry you won’t be receiving any more of those off-color emails. This is a beautiful tribute, Eric.

    • ericjbaker

      Thanks, Candace. Bryan was on disability for so long that I think he felt cut off from people, outside of blogging, It shouldn’t have taken his death for me to tell people about him. but at least I can do one tiny part to make sure he is not forgotten. Like I said in the comment above, I’ve known this moment was coming for a long time. Why is it easier to talk about someone after he dies?

  • wantonwordflirt

    Sorry to hear of the loss of your friend Bryan. May your memories bring some peace.

    • ericjbaker

      Thank you for the kind words. As I responded to a few comments above, I will eventually send this link to his parents, and I hope the kindness of the WordPress community will help ease their pain for just a few moments. I’m glad to be associated with such a great bunch of bloggers.

  • Luanne

    Eric, I’m so sorry about the loss of your friend. You gave him a fine tribute here.

    • ericjbaker

      Thanks, and thank you for the comment. I’m sounding like a broken record with my replies here, but I’m always amazed by the kindness and supportive nature of people in the WordPress community, especially its writers. I hope Bryan’s family can find some solace in knowing their son was part of that.

  • Kevin Brennan

    What a warm and beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing your memories of Bryan.

    • ericjbaker

      Thanks, Kevin. Before Bryan died, I told him I was going to memorialize him by naming a villain after him in a story or novel one day, which pleased him considerably. That pretty much tells you the kind of guy he was.

  • livelytwist

    I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. You have written a moving tribute, one that he would have loved, I guess…

  • nmartinez1938

    “he created such vivid images in ways I could never imagine”… that’s talent!

    • ericjbaker

      He once took a little puff piece I wrote based on a writing prompt and turned it into something quite intense and ful of fire and brimstone. He wouldn’t take any credit for making it cooler.

  • BetsyBelieve

    Bryan and I were friends for almost a decade. We were not virtual friends or cyber friends. Only yesterday did I hear of him passing away, so obviously I was not at his funeral. Good thing I ‘spose as I told him I would tell those attending (should he pass away) that he watched midget porn. He thought that was hysterical, and loved my sex oriented humor and its shock value. I did not follow Bryan’s blog but randomly found this page on Google a few minutes ago. Anyway, the next paragraph is what I posted on his Facebook page and I share it with you all.

    “I know you’re out there somewhere Bryan….I also know you’re in my thoughts (maybe thats the “somewhere”)…if you find WiFi, send a message — if anything, it’ll freak us all out & you’ll be laughing your ass off about it….Mojo Man says hello & will look after me with his one eye — I hope the food is awesome where you are with zero calories & that you know I’m glad we saw a lotuv things the same about life & could think up weird stuff to say to each other for a quick dose of laughter or a small bucket of hysteria…I promise to give you credit for jokes you told me so you can never say I stole your priceless material….laugh my friend — we loved to laugh — just noticed the day you died we were chatting — it was always nice when we would complain about some of the same things — made me feel less crazy thats for sure…I have some great memories of you Bryan. I can’t call you so I’ll talk out loud & hope you’ll be listening. Rest in peace my friend.” (From Betsy)

    • ericjbaker

      Thanks for finding your way over here and for reposting your Facebook comment. The fact that you mentioned his funeral and midget porn in the same sentence… that captured the essence of Bryan’s sense of humor to perfection! I can see why you two were friends. That’s exactly what I mean went I said that he would “pull the chair away.” He would go on about his illness and life and the meaning of friendship and then, at the last second, twist the whole thing into something hysterically rude and outrageous. I’d have tears in my eyes form laughing.

      Thanks again.

  • Janna G. Noelle

    My condolences for your friend, Eric, and his family. He was so young.

    • ericjbaker

      Thank you, Janna. As has happened many times over the past year, I hadn’t heard from him for a week or two and started to worry. Normally, I’d send an e-mail and he’s reply with a “Nope, not dead yet.” message (usually laden with a fair number of jokes about his treatments and side effects and so on). This time, the reply came from his dad. I didn’t want to read it because I knew what it was going to say.

      • Janna G. Noelle

        That’s really sad. I’m sorry. Cancer is such a terrible disease.

      • Betsy

        Cancer came calling in Bryan’s life…cancer is not what killed him though…Bryan beat cancer to the punch….supposedly cancer had 4-7 months longer to kick his ass…Bryan (not surprisingly) boldly said goodbye to this life on his own…this exit strategy was routinely discussed between he & I BEFORE he even got cancer…years back he asked me to write his eulogy — thats how I came up with the midget porn comment…many people don’t understand suicide–Bryan & I sure did….in my opinion cancer gave Bryan more peace…and, most probably more of a valid reason to go out guns a blazin’….I’m an advocate for assisted suicide for the terminally ill…my heart goes out to his parents…Bryan had the balls to go out on his own terms–seeing as the last few conversations I had with him were so pleasant, I’m at peace knowing he knew I was a long term friend (and I guess for him, it meant to the end)…I had no indication from him he was even depressed…none from him for many months–I am fortunate to have my last memories of him being those of a happier person than years previously. Bryan would want everyone who enjoyed his sense of humor to focus on that…I know Bryan loved that about himself & would want people to remember that about him….anyone reading this please remember a kind word, just a smile or a funny joke can do a world of good on just about anyone…its free & easy to do…pass on laughter and/or compassion wherever you go…me & Bryan bitched about tonsuv the same stuff & that brought both he & I closer…be open with a few people – bitching & complaining can be cathartic–life aint one big happy party–but remember to LAUGH…laughter is a universal language — Bryan would want everyone to be laughing !!!

  • Life and Death & Cyber Shadows | Spirit Lights The Way

    […] posts:  In Memoriam ~ WordPress Blogger Bryan Edmondson (Eric John Baker) * Life Goes On (Candid Impressions) * Paying Death Taxes  (Andra) * Facebook […]

  • mrschmoe

    Losing a good friend is tough. A friend of mine had drove into the icy river. I didn’t want to think what her last thoughts were. But she had a weird sense of humour. Plus she knew how to cheer me up.

What say you?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: