bright uellow gerber daisy

There are exceptional people you can come across in life if you are lucky, people who make you feel like a better version of you. Smarter. Prettier. Kinder. More patient. 

Not empty flattery. No. They have a knack for finding the gem of you and making you sparkle and shine.

I have been blessed to find a few of these people in my lifetime. Paul Curran was one of those. I looked forward to his comments for that very selfish reason. He made me feel better about me.

I realize that he was a virtual friend, someone I never met, but what I feel now is a very real sense of grief and sadness. Strangely that is made worse by the fact that I can find no obituary, no mark of his passing except for the deafening silence that exists now on my blog and on many others. 

I want to fill up that emptiness. I want to shout out to the world, to his physical friends, to his family: I KNEW PAUL CURRAN. He was my friend. He existed. He was a priceless member of the human race. He touched many lives. He made a difference. He mattered.

Just as I hope someone will say about me when I am gone.


81 thoughts on “Tributary

      • Paul Curran: virtual barista and raconteur nonpareil

        Paul Curran: virtual barista and raconteur nonpareil

        A few years ago, Paul Curran showed up and started adding his smart, funny, witty stories and comments to my blog. That first day, he talked about how his father provided an example for him of the importance of family, hard work, and education. He ended that first story with, “Thanks for the memories, Barb.”

        Since then, Paul has added his thoughts, wisdom, and wisecracks to more than fifty of my blog posts. He’s contributed guest posts, and introduced me to other fabulous bloggers like his very good friend, Mark Bialczak, on whose blog he could often be found serving as Sunday guest barista and blogger.

        Paul has always impressed me for so many reasons, from his delight in people of every possible walk of life, background, and experience, to his incredibly wide-ranging interests, to his gift for creating word sketches of the characters he’s known. I can’t tell you how often I’ve begged him to put them into a book.

        Recently, Paul’s health—already compromised by cancer and dialysis treatments—took a turn for the worse. But when he could write, he apologized for being out of touch, and said he would soon be back. We talked about his plans to move to Vancouver, and made a date to have brunch at Edible Canada on Granville Island.

        Mark Bialczak shared sad news today, as he wrote:

        We’ve lost Paul Curran, our master guest columnist and prolific comment-leaver

        markbialczak /

        Those of us who’ve grown to love the lively words that bounced from the head and fingers of Paul Curran will never be the same.

        The writer from Canada has died, according to his neighbor Steve Watson.

        I received this email on the contact tab from my blog:

        With great sadness I have to tell you that Paul Curran has passed away. Paul passed last week.

        [Please see the rest of Mark’s tribute to Paul here.]

        I will always remember Paul for his joy, his wit, and his incredible ability to celebrate the people he’s known. As a small sample, please take a look at the last guest blog Paul hosted for me. “If it has tires or testosterone“. His response to one of the comments was, “I am happy that you are having fun reading my stories. More to come, so stay tuned and please drop by again.”

        I hope St. Peter is ready for some fantastic stories, because Paul has so many more to tell.

        Thank you for the memories, Paul.

        Liked by 3 people

  1. I am so sorry to here of his loss. In this age of social media we are all developing a wide array of ‘penpals’ that we may never meet, and often they become very close friends even though we have no idea what their real voice sounds like. Their loss is just as significant and just as real as the passing of any close friend. My heart goes out to you at this time xxxx

    Liked by 3 people

  2. So many people worry about the legacy they’ll leave behind.

    This is the simplest and most beautiful legacy anyone can achieve: “I KNEW PAUL CURRAN. He was my friend. He existed. He was a priceless member of the human race. He touched many lives. He made a difference. He mattered.”

    May he rest in peace.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m having the same problem. I befriended Steven Nedelton, a fellow author, online. He explained a lot of the publishing business to me and supplied me with helpful links. Then he disappeared. I haven’t seen or heard from him since February of this year. No obituary anywhere. His sites are open but nothing has been posted. I’m sad and frustrated at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I did not know Paul and only learned of him recently through your blog. I read some of his posts on Mark’s blog. He seemed to be so unaffected and gracious. I felt those qualities through his words. Pau’s passing is very sad. I feel that he fought the ultimate battle with grace and dignity.

    He would have been honored and humbled if he had known how much you admired and cared about him.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. In my short virtual life here I was not fortunate enough to meet him but he sounds like a very good person. May he find peace and happiness in the heaven that he dreamed.
    Your posts have touched thousands of hearts. I hope the day is afar, but when it does come you will live as a kind doctor who befriended the muse dancing on the tip of her pen, in our hearts.- Jia

    Liked by 2 people

  6. What a wonderful tribute. I never had the joy of knowing him. I am going to tell my sons if anything happens to me I’d like them to post something. That’s a great idea. I have had fellow bloggers disappear on me, too. Its heartbreaking.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I did not get to experience this man, but I understand the bewilderment and not knowing. So many people here are real friends to me, even though I don’t even know their real name in many cases. It’s a strange and somewhat sad, somewhat wonderful thing.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. You’ve written a beautiful tribute. The grief and sadness is real even though I never met him in person. We are all so fortunate to have known him. I hope he is at peace.

    I have a feeling the same will be said about you. I hope it isn’t said or felt for a long time.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I also looked forward to anything Paul wrote. I will miss him. I want you to know now I look forward to your posts. They make me feel good about myself and the future. Hearing about how you struggle to deal with your life issues, your children, and the dilemmas caregivers face gives me a sense of continuity. I hope you won’t be offended if I say I see you in myself as you deal so honestly with issues I never felt comfortable sharing. Knowing you are such a capable and caring person with doubts gives me something to lean on. I deal in humor a lot to blunt pain. You seem to embrace reality. Your posts are precious to me.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Your virtual friendship in my life is every bit as encouraging to me Victo. I too have lost a couple of close blogging friends…couple just dropped off the map / pretty sure they didn’t die/ just quit writing, and one did pass away from lung cancer. I felt her death as strongly as any person I’ve ever lost. My thought was, because we interacted on a heart level, in many ways I knew her better than most. DM

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Many people want to leave a physical mark on this world; some sort of tangible legacy that will last forever. But more often than not, it is the lives that we touch that demark our legacy. He existed because he meant something to you and will live on because you will miss and remember him.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I often wonder about the protocol. here… when someone in our blogosphere passes on. Another thing that I believe is that when I die my my blog will. just bounce around in cyyberspace…forever, theoretically..

    It is sobering to wonder if we will. be missed…. gfeat post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I have often thought about this–when a voice here becomes still, we don’t know what happened to our cherished friend! Rest assured that you would be missed if your voice was to be silent! Here’s to pur voices being heard for a long, long, time.

    By the way, I finally read your fascinating ‘about me’ page and I am on the search for the next installment in that story~

    Liked by 1 person

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