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Good Bye To My Friend Peter.

*A Memorial Site has been set up In Honor Of Peter*  

P.W.H. August 23rd, 1956 – November 25th, 2007

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“God saw you were getting tired,
and a cure was not to be,
so he put his arms around you
and whispered, “Come to me.”

With tearful eyes we watched you
and saw you pass away.
Although we loved you dearly,
We could not make you stay.

A golden heart stopped beating,
hard working hands at rest.
God broke our hearts to prove to us,
He only takes the best.”

I am writing today’s post with a heavy heart. I am no stranger to death, but my experience in dealing with it is rather limited. I am sad to announce, one week ago today, on Sunday November 25th, a friend of mine passed away. He leaves behind: his father, a beautiful loving sister, his nephew, and countless life-long friends.

I can say with utmost certainty, Peters passing will leave a void in this world.

What can I say about my personal relationship with Peter? I met Peter approximately 5 years ago through another friend of mine, Pammie. I fell in love with Peter the minute I met him. His candor, his infectious laugh, his command of the English language was nothings short of genius. Peter was brilliant in every sense of the word. He was as talented and charismatic as they come. He was a truly gifted man with a heart of gold.

However, he was not without his daemons. Peter struggled with many obstacles. Yet, from what I witnessed, he faced each challenge with courage, strength, and dignity. I respected him all the more as he battled against all odds. For the past five years, Peter dedicated his life to working with people disabled by addiction to help them overcome obstacles on the path towards recovery. I am one of them.

When I first started spending time with Peter, it was easy to feel so comfortable with him. We shared a special connection, being that we were both active members of recovery programs. We had countless stories to share with each other. We did not sit around and exchange the typical addict war stories. Nor did we glamorize the ugliness that is addiction. But we sure did laugh (A LOT!) when reflecting on our past lives.

I remember one of the very first conversations I ever had with Peter.

Pammie, Peter and I were riding around in her car when Peter started talking about his past. He was incredibly open and honest about things he had done. I was shocked to see how at peace he was with his ‘mistakes’ … ‘Mistakes’ I was still too horrified to admit. But as I watched Peter speak, without restraint, I was unexpectedly inspired to tell him A Truth about the height of my drug abuse. Once I opened the proverbial locked door of secrets, I couldn’t stop letting them out. Peter didn’t react the way I always imagined someone would react after hearing one of my appalling tales. Instead, he simply laughed at the absurdity. Peter had one of those contagious laughs, which made me laugh at myself. After an hour of ‘confessions’ and laughter the weigh of the shame I’d been harboring for a years, was suddenly lifted. Somehow all of those dirty secrets I had been carrying around became OKAY.

Peter gave me the greatest gift of my life that day. Peter taught me how to forgive myself.

From that day on, I always felt safe when I was with Peter. He never judged me, and he never let me take myself too seriously. Most of all, he believed in me. I never got the chance to tell Peter just how much he enriched my life, but I think he knew.

One of my fondest memories of Peter will always be the time we went to NYC for the Tribecca Film Festival. That was the first time I had ever been exposed to things like: a black and white foreign film with subtitles, riding on the subway, touring the ruins of 9/11, and the ever so famous phrase “Roy-Ro-J’ay’s” with a ‘holster’ of fries. The time I spent with Peter was always cultural on some level, filled with fabulous movies, sushi dinners, and a trip to the Guggenheim museum. I also loved being able to share my writing with him. Peter was an exceptional and accomplished writer, wining awards for his poetry. It was an honor for me to have his time and attention. He delivered fantastic constructive criticism and powerful advice. I will forever be grateful.

Saturday, I attended Peter’s memorial services. It was such a beautiful tribute. There must have been at least a hundred people present. Peter had friends from all walks of life, and he touched every single one of them. Three people spoke about Peter and their relationship with him. My words, here, now, will pale in comparison to anything that was said during the service. The only thing I can say about the service? Listening to his sister talk about loosing her best friend was tough enough. But, the hardest part of getting through the service was when Peters father, an 82 year old, generally stoic man, gave his speech. Mid sentence, his voice started to shake, until he broke into tears. He collected himself and fell apart once more when referring to his son Peter by the nickname he had given him ‘Pedro.’ I think the cruelest thing in the world is when a parent looses their child.

The ceremony ended with a poem, written by Peter himself. I don’t think there could have been a more poignant way to close the service.

“I am that leaf from the tree
when browned by the autumn will covet the wind
and pray in the moonlight
beseech every bird that passes my way
I am that leaf who from my foundation
of branches and blossoms
will risk all that’s known to me
to be swept along gently
and fly blindly guided
and laugh as I dance in the rains
and I am passes through the passage of waters
when battered and bruised by tires I will return
to lunge over mountains
be fertile to fields
and lay still imbedded in frosty heaves
like a lovers bed
when stripped again I will
take flight
on the tireless wings of the memory
from which I came
and from which I draw my fortitude”

Written by Peter W. Hass

I will miss his presence. I will miss his friendship. I will miss all of the witty nicknames he created for the friends in his close nit circle. Most of all, I will miss the sound of his laughter.

I will miss you Peter. Good bye my friend. May you finally rest. In Peace.

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  • jodi

    Ah Meleah…
    Peter said it best..

    My heart is with you and all those who’s souls he touched…

    Peace&Love,
    Jodi

  • He sounds like a truly special person. I forgot where I heard it but someone wise once said that the brightest stars burn out the quickest. I believe oftentimes that is the truth.

    I am so sorry for the loss felt by his friends and family as well as your heartbreak at losing someone so dear to you. My thoughts are with you all.

  • Meleah… what a beautiful tribute to your friend. No matter how often we encounter death… each loss leaves us with such an emptiness that only time can soften. Thinking of you and your special friend today.
    Much love xoxoxoxo

  • A wonderful tribute to a man who obviously affected your life greatly. Those who accept us as we are and help us to become better are few and far between. I’m glad that your life was graced by Peter’s presence. It is never easy to say goodbye to those we love.

  • Meleah

    Jodi:

    Yes. He did. Thank you.

    AntiBarbie:

    Peter was very SPECIAL indeed. Thank you for your thoughts and well wishes.

    Dawn:

    Thanks. This was a tough write since I kept crying while trying to construct this. I cant stop thinking about Peters father. Thanks for the love honey.

    Josie2shoes:

    He very much helped me at a time when I needed him most. I have since left any sort of recovery program but HIS message has remained with me.

  • He sounds like a person who was good to know; thanks to you he is known to even more people, and will not be forgotten. My condolences.

  • I’m so sorry for your loss of such a dear friend.

  • Mel,
    I am so sorry to hear this. He sounds like a wonderful human being.

  • Meleah

    Bob G:

    I appreciate your kind words. Thank you.

    Terri:

    Thank you.

    Laurie:

    He was AMAZING. You would have loved him.

  • That was so touching. I’m so sorry for your lose.

  • what a gift to have known such a person… may he live forever in your heart… XXXOOOO

  • Meleah

    Mimzie:

    Thank you.

    Paisley:

    A gift. Yes. He will live on in all of our hearts.

  • I am so sorry M…

  • Meleah, I am bawling my eyes out. This is a beautiful tribute to Peter! I feel like I just met him, made a new friend and lost him within ten minutes. So sad for those left behind, especially his dad. Thanks for sharing Peter with us, obviously he was a very special human being.

  • Meleah

    MichaelC:

    Me too. Thanks babe. The only thing thats been a great distraction is NBC on DEMAND. Yes. I can now watch 30 Rock ON DEMAND so I can memorize every line.

    Barbara:

    Oh! Barb! Thank you for really reading this. Peter was INCREDIBLE. Your comment means alot to me.

  • me.olly

    WOW!!!
    HE’S IN AGREAT PLACE NOW !!!
    XOXOXO

  • Oh Meleah, I am so sorry about the passing of this exceptional man and that you lost such a good friend.

    There’s nothing like having a friend that you feel like you can tell them anything and not be judged but helped or guided. That is incredibly rare.

    If this is a fair universe then he’s in a better place and he’ll live on here through the people he helped.

    Again I am sorry for your loss.

  • I’m glad there has been a distraction for you. I see my cardiologist tomorrow afternoon and have been looking for distractions (especially since I’ve got a dull pain in my left arm all day). I must see this NBC on Demand of which you speak
    😉

    Can the episodes be viewed on my new Ipod? Actually, don’t answer that. They say I have a weak heart 😉

  • Meleah

    MichaelC:

    Its easy. Ill send you an email. There are full episodes on NBC.COM too… I may just loan you my 1st season DVD.

    Olly:

    Yes. I hope so.

    Ricardo:

    Thank you. You always make me feel better.

  • I didn’t even know him and your tribute is making me so sad he’s gone.

  • this makes me so sad.

    There’s nothing like encountering someone who loves you BECAUSE of all your flaws. And there’s nothing that can ever replace him when he’s gone…

    There’s something for you over at my place…

    xxoo

  • I’m so glad he taught you how to forgive yourself. People like Peter only come along once in a while. What a special person. I am so sorry that you and his family and friends had to say goodbye to him. Your tribute to him is beautiful.

  • That was beautiful Meleah. I’m positive Peter is smiling right now as he reads your tribute.

    Somebody pass the tissues…

  • The way you wrote that, I feel like I know your friend Peter. What a wonderful way to remember him, sharing such personal thoughts and saying all the wonderful things there were (and still are) about your friend.

    Peter looks like he had one hell of a laugh – what a great smile he has going on in these photos.

  • I am SO sorry to hear about your friend. By the sound of it, He was a great person, and he meant alot to you. What your wrote was beautiful. I am truly sorry for your loss. What is a little bizarre is on the same day, husbands grandmother died…..so just think that Peter may have made his journey out and up with a very sweet little old lady.

  • Meleah

    Leslie:

    You would have loved him.

    SomeGirl:

    Thanks for your kind words honey. Ohh… a present for ME! On your site? Yeay.

    Selma:

    They broke the mold when they made Peter, that’s for sure. I was very lucky to have him in my life at all. Even if it was only for a short while.

    Dazd:

    Thank you. Thank you. But, Im all out of tissues. I used them all up.

    Magic:

    Peter had a child like LAUGH. his million dollar smile won me over the second I met him.

    Chef Mom:

    Thank you. He was a VERY special man.

  • cmk

    Those who are remembered so very beautifully, are never truly gone. So very sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts…

  • Meleah, that was a moving tribute to your friend. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  • Hugs from one person who shares in your grief and heaviness of heart.

    callie

  • Meleah

    CMK:

    Thank you. That means alot to me.

    Avery:

    Thank you.

    Callie:

    Oh honey… the same to you. xxoo

  • BDawg-BFD

    Meleah, that was a moving tribute… Peter had a good friend in you… God willing, we’ll all have a gifted spokesperson, such as yourself, that can eulogize our accomplishments, and rub out our shortcomings and failures, when it is our time…

  • May he rest in peace… God bless his soul.

  • Those are beautiful words. I’m so glad you have such wonderful memories of him. He sounds like a good friend.

  • Meleah

    BFD:

    Thats a big compliment coming from you. Thank you very much.

    Nessa:

    thank you.

    Momo Fali:

    I have amazing memories of a wonderful man. Thank you.

  • Ahhh….meleah. I’m sorry for you lose. That was really really beautiful.

  • Hey Meleah, Peter sounds like an incredible guy. A well written tribute for a friend. May he rest in peace.

  • I am very sorry for your loss, Meleah. I am thinking of you. He was clearly a remarkable person.

  • I’m sorry too Meleah. I’ve known people like Peter and met them in probably the same place you might have met Peter. When someone like that dies, around here we refer to it as:

    “Another warrior, coming home”

    What a wonderful gift Peter gave you in showing/teaching you how to forgive yourself. I think most people don’t realize how hard that can be unless they’ve been in some of the places we have spiritually.

    I wish you all the best and I know that those are the people we carry closest in our hearts – those who laughed with us, cried with us and showed us how to live.

    Peace, love and understanding and most importantly,

    ((((((((((Meleah))))))))))

    ~ RS ~

  • Meleah

    Olga:

    Thank you.

    Nick:

    Thank you too.

    Ingrid:

    He was remarkable, amazing, talented, wonderful person who will be sorely missed and fondly remembered.

    Ruby:

    Thank you. You seem to fully understand where this post is coming from. I miss him, but his GIFT to me will last MY LIFE TIME.

  • Wow. What a heartbreaking post. I’m sorry for your loss. I hope you always take comfort in his memory. Rest In Peace, Peter. What a beautiful soul.

  • Meleah

    S.A.M.:

    Thank you. So much. This has been hard.

  • God bless you in your loss. Your life was touched by a beautiful soul, which in turn, made yours beautiful, too. That is his everlasting gift to you.

  • Meleah

    Thank you Mrs Who.

  • I offer my condolences too, on top of all these others. This was an absolutely beautiful post, and he sounds like a truly amazing person.

  • I’m so sorry. What an amazing gift this friendship thing is sometimes, eh?

  • Meleah

    Brillig:

    Thank you so much. I don’t even think my words did him justice.

    Deb:

    I will be forever grateful to have had Peter in my life.

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