October 7, 2013
Early this morning our brother Tim Ayers passed away at his home on Golden Gate Park, surrounded by love, embraced by a scrum of sweet friends and his large admiring family. He was where he wanted to be, and he retained his good spirit and sense of humor to the end, reflecting on his great good fortune and the good and full life that he’d lived. It was so sad and so beautiful, and Tim was filled with grace throughout.
It was a giant earthquake for all of us in less than a week, from the shock of brother Rick finding Tim in a tub too weak to lift himself out last Tuesday, to the shock that Tim’s lungs were filled with inoperable masses on Thursday (news that Tim heard while Ilene held his hand and to which he said, “I’ve had a good life”) to the news yesterday that there were hours, not days or weeks or months for Tim to live. It was a series of unremitting after-shocks without much time to process any of them—life altering and life ending events all in the space of six days.
Tim was a San Francisco guy for 45 years—video production and TV camera person and editor, local labor leader, a super Giants fan, season ticket holder for many years, attending spring training in Arizona every year. He was a fabulous music enthusiast who knew everyone in the big-hearted San Francisco jazz scene. He was a widely loved guy with thousands of friends and a close if wildly far-flung family. He recently celebrated his 70th birthday with a large and lovely gathering at the Bell Tower on Polk Street.
There were so many small miracles. Tim was so clear about what he wanted: no lingering, no pain, speedy leave-taking. Our entire family was aligned with each other and with Tim about what to do next at each juncture. The terrific medical folks were willing to not only go along with our end-of-life program but even actively support it. And so many practical things were in place so that we could concentrate on being with Tim and each other.
It’s hard to fathom: so present and vibrant one moment and suddenly laid low and then gone. We all miss him horribly, and we all hold him near.