Written by Sean Myers, Calgary Herald
He is gone.
This man of gentle heart and quiet spirit. This man who graced our world for 58 years, four of them with the DI.
Terry Pettigrew is gone.
He passed away on May 31 at approximately 3:30 a.m. At his bedside was his brother, a man he hadn’t seen in 34 years but with whom he recently reconnected through an article in the Calgary Herald. A man with whom the bond of love was never broken, only sometimes distant, strained, stretched.
And in the end, while he had been absent from his life for so long, Larry, his brother was there in the end when it really counted. He gently held his brother’s hand, spoke soothingly to him as he passed over. Terry had his wish. He was not alone in those final hours. He was with family. His journey to the other side softened by his brother’s love. The brother who searched for him for many years and when he found him, embraced him in love and compassion, kindness and support.
Terry Pettigrew is gone and I am saddened, yet grateful. For in his passing through our world, we are richer for his acquaintance. We are better people for having known him.
Thank you everyone who played a part in Terry’s journey. In supporting him, reading about him, sending flowers and cards and well-wishes. He read your words of encouragement. He felt your support and love. And his heart beat more fiercely for you touched him, deeply. Your words gave him strength, encouragement, hope.
And now, he is gone. Peaceful now. At rest.
May he always be remembered as a kind and caring man, a man of dry wit, of clever repartee. A man for whom life was a constant adventure. And while it was sometimes challenging, it was always filled with his belief the sun would come out tomorrow — no matter what. Whether behind grey clouds or stormy skies, the sun would be there. He always knew that.
And that is the joy of life he shared. Generously. Graciously. It was a reflection of who he was. Constant. Dependable. Fiercely independent.
And no matter the skies, his humour, his laughter, his smile could always be counted upon.
Now he is gone.
May he rest in peace.
Bev Pettigrew, his sister-in-law has given permission for her poem to be included in this blog. A wonderful soul, Bev, along with her husband Larry, have treasured these past few weeks in which they were able to get to know Terry.
I held your hand yesterday I crossed the land,
I hadn’t for 33 years. We touched in heart,
It was warm and soft in such a way We locked in hand
But still able to brush away tears. And now we part.
I held your hand today For now…But not forever
The warmth still there,But not so strong.
Cancer had taken that away
It seems so cruel and wrong.
I’ll hold your hand tomorrow
Cold and limp, but touched by love.
My broken heart will be full of sorrow
Until we meet in heav’n above.
Throughout Terry’s journey over the past few months, reporter Sean Myers of the Calgary Herald has written sensitive and moving articles on Terry, his journey through cancer, and his reconnection with his brother which was prompted by one of Sean’s stories. This is Sean’s article on Terry’s passing.