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New Year's Eve 2010  / Mom   Read >>
New Year's Eve 2010  / Mom

Dear Shannon

Your Uncle Vernon passed away this morning.  I guess we will always remember the date.  Your Grandma Hamann chose Easter at least in our time zone but Easter changes year to year.  Now I can't recall which day in April marks her passing.

You chose your Aunt Sandy's birthday so your maternal relatives will remember. 

Vernon was 80.  He has been suffering poor health for some time so in some ways it's easy to be philosophical about it all.  He had a long life.  He was suffering.  Somehow I still find it all unsettling.  What seems more comforting is that none of us live forever and I'm not sure many of us would want to.  I know I wouldn't.  If I did I'd need to move from planet to planet with different holidays and customs.  Also definitely frailities and failities of the creatures who live on the planets are such that I could not handle living on any one forever. 

Yet I hate all justifications of individual deaths no matter how valid.  And I do appreciate your uncle was ready to go because o his suffering and indeed would that be the case for all of us.  Yet how do we miss them less?

Seeing death as the natural order of things that we must accept is rational so long as death does not happen in an untimely manner as it did in your case.  Rational does not mean it is OK.  OK in the sense of our hearts I mean.   

We are going to watch one of our favorite VHS movies either "A Fish Called Wanda" or "Love and Death".  I don't think we talked about either movie.

I suppose new years are not marked where you are.

Love Mom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Christmas Eve 2010  / Mom (mother)  Read >>
Christmas Eve 2010  / Mom (mother)

This is Christmas Eve Eve for us.  Heather's John is with his son tonight so we are moving Christmas back a day.  We are big on ceremony but not when.  I don't think Heather has told you about John.  You would like him I know.  He is smart and well read.

Your candle is lit and we had a nice dinner with Heather.  We went on a short hike.  we stopped at a rocky peak and somehow I thought of you.  Meibe I was thinking how nice that the three of us were together and then realized there was someone missing.

 

Love you

Mom

 

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Odd coincidence?  / Eloise Hamann (Mom)  Read >>
Odd coincidence?  / Eloise Hamann (Mom)

I received the following email from a good friend from San Jose State University.  We try to stay in touch since my retirement but it's been hard.  I think it unlikely that she remembers the exact date of your death.  You'll like her daughter's reaction to your poetry.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have been meaning to email you for a while now. I wish I had a good
excuse - even if I did it would be just that - an excuse. I was
talking to Natasha today (online chat - her generation doesn't seem to
appreciate the original purpose of the telephone). She went on and on
about how she loves to read poetry and I remembered showing her some
of Shannon's poetry when she was younger. She may have been 5 or 6.
At the time she didn't think it was poetry because it didn't even
rhyme. Anyway I found some of Shannon's poetry online and sent her
the link. Her only comment was "oh wow".

_____________________________________________

"Oh wow" seems as high a praise that one can give.

I thought this year I had achieved peace but Heather just left and I feel empty.  I don't feel that way on other days.

Vicky Wheeler is especially missing you this year.

Love Mom

 

 

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Oh Shannon.  / Victoria Heifner (friend)  Read >>
Oh Shannon.  / Victoria Heifner (friend)
It's so crazy that it's been this many years. I met you so long ago and had so little face-to-face time with you compared to others but I feel like I have coem to know you so well. I wish I had more days with you before this one but I am grateful for the times I got to share with you and Chris and your family. So much has happened. The night you died we went over to your parents house and well I'm not sure. We sat. We talked and figured out what just happened. And we drank wine. I got sick because it wasn't the celebratory kind of drinking. It was the let's-dull-this-pain-immediately kind which really never works does it? I've come to know your family and you are right—this are amazing. Your Mom is truly the bandleader when it comes to your weird sense of humor. But you know this already. Your sister is one of the most fun people I know and with a sense of humor more warped than I first considered possible. Your Dad has opened up through the years I've known him. He and your Mom are passionate smart and critical thinkers. Like you. I don't know where I'm going with this. I've come to know you through the back door I think but the more interesting people and things in life are like that aren't they? Chris and I have a daughter (you know this by now) and I know you would really like her. She's cheeky thoughtful and a bit of a trouble-maker. She and your parents have a great relationship and we feel really fortunate for this. Meibe I'm saying "thanks" to you. We went to their house for Thanksgiving and it struck me that morning "just how did we land here?". You know—how do we come to know the special people in our lives? My obvious answer is "you". Thank you Shannon. You are dearly missed. xo Vic. Close
6 years, just like it was yesterday.  / Vicky   Read >>
6 years, just like it was yesterday.  / Vicky
oh shannon.  you've been everywhere lately.  all over my thoughts in my dreams my whole life.  feels almost like you're talking to me. i love you so much. wish i could hear you more clearly. speak up sweetie! xoxoxo Close
Six years ago  / Eloise Hamann (Mom)  Read >>
Six years ago  / Eloise Hamann (Mom)

I recall the restless night six years ago tongiht   It was a Saturday night then as well.   I didn't know why I couldn't sleep and I won't proffer a reason now but I finally fell asleep to be awakened at 6 by the phone call I'll never forget.

I think I'm finally used to the idea you are gone that I can't call and talk about politics and the world. 

I'm looking forward to the publication of your poetry collection.  It is of great comfort.  I've been thinking about you as this anniversary approaches. 

Did I tell you some of your ashes are in Machu Picchu not far from ashes of Michael Weholt's sister?

There's a red heart made of some lovely stone I bought one year from a museum shop in Golden Gate Park.  It rests with your ashes in your urn.

I know you like religious art especially what I call the Catholic variety.  I think however you would have been amused by the painting of the last supper in Cuzco where Judas' face is that of Pizarro the Spanish conquerer of the Incas.  The pope has decreed the native Peruvians cannot conduct mass in their native language.  I am disgusted.

Heather will come tomorrow and we will probably look at old photos maybe watch one of your favorite movies.

Love you

Mom

 

 

 

 

 

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JOY, GREAT JOY!  / Mom   Read >>
JOY, GREAT JOY!  / Mom

Shannon,

Your collected work of poetry will be published in Pavement Saw Press! The publisher has been publishing books of poetry since 1993 beginning primarily with Chap Books. 

I mistyped my phone number and I had ignored the editor's emails as I thought I was being approached to purchase a book. 

He tracked me down as he liked your work so much.  I cried with joy and called Heather.  She wasn't home and she couldn't understand my message as I was still blubbering.

 

Oh happy, happy day!

 

Love, Mom

 

 

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Eloise pronounced Elouise  / Eloise Hamann (Mom)  Read >>
Eloise pronounced Elouise  / Eloise Hamann (Mom)

I almost forgot.  Remember getting the book Eloise ---of the Plaza Hotel---for me with the autograph from Kate Thompson?  And how you liked to refer to me to friends as Elouise?

 

I read it to Astrid last night and she was entranced.  She is not yet three but is such a bright perceptive child.  Her temperament is delightfully calm.  She is so well behaved.  She looks with her bright eyes at the world around her and soaks it all in.  She is of course easily tickled at Grandma E's cornball antics.  She is so adorable.  At any rate it's a special book for a special child so know your gift is being treasured.

 

Love

Mom

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Another birthday since you've been gone  / Eloise Hamann (Mom)  Read >>
Another birthday since you've been gone  / Eloise Hamann (Mom)

We had corned beef in your honor on Pi day this year because of Heather's schedule.  Michael Weholt was here.  It seems every year there is another story I did not know about you. This is the one where you were caught underage in a bar and pretended to be from Denmark and could not speak English and got away without incident. Now that I write this, I think you did tell me that story.  Some talk of outrageous costumes and getups at parties.

We lit your candle, and the conversation would have delighted you--- right up your alley.  Your Dad mentioned what great friends you had remembering the night of your 30th birthday.  Remember we had corned beef that night as well? 

I read Elouise to Astrid and let her take home that great story.  It's the one you had autographed by Kate Thompson.  They did a made for TV movie a few years ago.  They did a fabulous job.  I think it was after you moved on.

I'm super involved in a campaign to improve governance in California. 
Too long a story to go into,  but I would love to have told you about the ins and outs.  You would have appreciated it as your father and sister do not.

Love you,

Mom

 

 

 

 

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thinking of you  / Pamela Grossman (friend)  Read >>
thinking of you  / Pamela Grossman (friend)
always in my heart and in my thoughts. it seems clear from my dreams that i will see you again. apparently i've got some more to do here for a while but in due time. much love pam Close
missing you  / Leif   Read >>
missing you  / Leif
because you're missing Close
My Dear  / Taryn Knight   Read >>
My Dear  / Taryn Knight
Shannon I Love You So Much. I wish you were here to ask me in an annoyed tone "Why are you crying?" and then you would act flattered and shocked when I told you it was because I miss you. Close
Think of you often.  / Chris Heifner (Friend)  Read >>
Think of you often.  / Chris Heifner (Friend)
I'll always be grateful for your friendship Shannon. The world will always be colder and a lot less funny without you. Miss your brilliant perspective. Close
Five Years  / Eloise Hamann (Mom)  Read >>
Five Years  / Eloise Hamann (Mom)

Dear Shannon

Heather will join us in spending the day remembering you. The 4’ by 7’ painting of you by your friend Attila Richard Lukacs makes us feel you are with us every day. It hangs in the hallway over the door of ‘your room’. Five years! Sometimes it seems like such a short time ago and other times it seems forever since we’ve had one of our choice political or philosophical discussions. I miss them.

I’d like to talk to you about a book I read about a brain scientist who had a stroke. It ended up being the most illuminating book I’ve ever read about right and left brain differences. You’d love it. Remember how it took longer than usual for your brain dominance to be determined? That unusual spelling paper with 3 words perfectly spelled on the left half of the page and on the right half the mirror image of 3 perfectly spelled words?

I’d like to talk to you about a book I just began The Family. The media touts it as a group of fundamentalist politicians who overlook and hide sexual infidelity of its members but it’s much more insidious than that. The group apparently want a theocracy as opposed to separation of church and state and prefer an autocracy by the Jesus’s chosen elite over democracy. They worship power as a way to do the mission of Christ and admire the power of Hitler and the mafia. They have cells or covenants and the ties are intended to be secret. They are elitist and believe they have been chosen by God. They see the old testament King David’s infidelity as proof that the chosen get to behave differently so long as they serve to allow Jesus to rule. As a perverse as you are you might approve. At least I picture you making a joke that you do. Chuck Grassley of Iowa is a devotee.
I’d like to talk to you about health care reform and the hypocrisy of the far right. Faux news as Heather calls it is another topic. Can you imagine a so-called news agency so outrageous that other news agencies sometimes report their rants?

I’d like to talk to you about Astrid and how she’s growing.

I’d like to give you a big hug

Love Mom

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Just thought I'd write  / Mom   Read >>
Just thought I'd write  / Mom
Your friend Michael Weholt's sister has a rare form of cervical cancer.  It is very serious but the prognosis has improved since it was discovered.  Naturally he is upset.  He has a blog She lives not too far from Heather.  He has been out to SF twice.  The first time we had dinner at Heather's.  The second time he came out here.  I scrolled up the home movie scene of the face painting of you as a cat for Halloween.  Michael laughed as we always do at the downturn of your lips as you see your face in the mirror. 

I miss being able to discuss politics and the world with you.  You always have a fresh perspective. 

Your dad and I took a trip to Oregon this past summer.  I saw my grandniece for the first time.  She's an adorable little sprite.  Let's see she'd be your first cousin once removed.  Your other first cousin once removed Tanner is in school already.  Nana enjoys him.

Your painting hangs over the room you slept in in the hallway overlooking the living room.  It is a unique conversation piece.

You and Natalie were the subject of a recent email discussion.  Sandy ran into some former teachers of Natalie and was heartened by their comments.  It always feels good when one of your friends drops into your website. 

Love you
Mom Close
tapsalot@mindspring.-com / Kim Miller (friend)  Read >>
tapsalot@mindspring.-com / Kim Miller (friend)
I am so sorry to hear about Shannon's passing. I just found out today. I tried to find him on facebook once but had no luck. Another mutual friend who found me recently and who lives in NYC just informed me. I am glad you have this memorial website with such wonderful photos to share with all of us who loved him. I met Shannon through work and we had a lot of mutual friends/ran in the same circles. Although I wasn't one of his closest friends I will never forget the several times I was lucky enough to hang out with him! Walking through the streets of Iowa City at night laughing and joking around. I wish we had been better friends and had hung out more. I am very sorry for your loss. I can't even imagine... Thank you also for posting some of his writing. I was kind of shy and could tell he was incredibly intelligent and I didn't always know what to say around him but I'm glad for the opportunity to read his poems now. This way I am able to get to know another side of him that I was too clumsy and awkward to get to know back then. Thank you for Shannon. I wish you peace love and light. Close
5/26/09 / Eloise Hamann (Mom)  Read >>
5/26/09 / Eloise Hamann (Mom)

Your surprise arrived today. It is a painting of you. You always wanted Attila to paint you. He has incorporated some of your ashes into the oil painting so it is truly you. It is based on a photo of you in St. Mark’s in Venice with pigeons, but is more you than that photo. I’m sure you’ll love it. It is amazing. 

You can't see that your name is on the newspaper tucked into the shirt wrapped around your waist nor part of the title of your poetry book:  Limmaginazione violenta


Love, Mom

PS Here is an excerpt of an email describing your adventures with your friend, Attila Richard Lukacs

 

hi ELOISE!!!
well....a thousand pardons for my tardy correspondance.
much has happened between now and when i said that
you would get shannon's portrait by x-mas. did i say what year?
anyway the piece is done and we made a good crate for it here in the
studio,
just a matter of getting it to you. the size of the painting is 4' x
7'.


i can't recall now when i started the drawing for his portrait. but i
do recall
that shannon was always bugging me that i should paint him, and
insisted that
i would do his portrait one day. hmmm, guess he was right. i've never
done this before.
so i sifted and ground down his ashes in a mortar to as fine a powder
as i could get.
mixed it into the paint and noticed that it did discolour the paint in
not the best way.
but the ashes did make it in almost all the painting - the flesh tones
and rays.
in the mean-time, those years passing in between, shannon has been my
constant
companion, here and in my travels. in '07 when i went to maui, i took
small bag of some of the
ashes too coarse to paint with so that i could spread them. knowing
and loving maui,
i think it is a place where spirits exist, and thought shannon might
like to share a vacation.
to the north i gave him to the sand wind and sea on my favorite
beaches. to the west, on
the beautiful rocky lava cliffs in a wildlife sanctuary
where the fags cruised overlooking david bowie's, tiger woods',
michael jordan's and
opra's homes. to the south, as far as i could get that day, the
youngest part of the island
barren, black, like mars. to the east, on the way to another nude
beach a very old buddhist
cemetery where i always lay a rock. and then into the water on a
hidden red beach in
a fantastic natural amphitheater facing a fierce ocean. lastly at
almost sunrise, we had to
stop 'cause my moms got sick in the car from driving up the hairpin
curved road up
haleakala, the volcano, where the gods live, and some flora and fauna
that exist only
on our planet up there. to the wind the rock and the rising sun.
the year following i went to india, again with shannon in bag. do have
to agree that
it's cheaper to fly with a friend this way. i think this is when i
had done drawn the portrait, and
i was leaving, and often it's hard to come back and do something
you''ve been away
from. so i took his book, read a poem everyday when i got there, GOD
knows he was good.
so slowly the ashes spread from the palms of buddha, to the streets
and finally for their intended
purpose at the end of my trip, we sent him down a sacred river with
the proper rites and rituals.
on a woven bamboo basket, with flowers from the garden incense and a
prayer to shiva .
and this last year, even though we just went 2 years ago, maui again.
by now back in vancity i was cursing shannon for his vanity.
ohhh...... i have a video of shannon's india river ride and i'm going
to send that to you as well.
the remainder of shannon's ashes, and i did think you sent too much at
the time,
are comfortable here, i enjoy having shannon around,in spirit .....
and our travels haven't ended. i remember now in "03 when i was in
india, shannon and i emailed
each other a lot, my first time there, he wanted a portrait as soon
as i got back, i talked him down to a a tattoo design.
even then he wanted his face on the body of a hunky st. michael. lets
face it he was vain,........
but he wanted to be there in india it was a destination he had hoped
for one day.

shannnon is sittin here in a wooden crate which he never wanted....are
you around to receive
it?


 

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It's Memorial Day  / Eloise Hamann (Mom)  Read >>
It's Memorial Day  / Eloise Hamann (Mom)

Of course I remember you every day in some way.  Every once in a while someone finds this site who knew you way back when.  I had a nice message from a Mardi Deveaux.  She said she was an acquaintance of yours at Iowa and that you had an impact on her.  I sent her a copy of your poetry book.   Others have said you influenced them and this time I asked how.  Here is her response. 

Hello,

I had gotten my under graduate degree at the University of Iowa in the 80's. I had left in 89 and have never been back. Almost all of my friends knew Shannon and some were very close to him. I had met him several times and at various places, mostly The Deadwood. I have to say, during that period of my life, the circle of people were amazing. All a little bit crazy but very artistic, smart and we all had an insane sense of humor. One of my best friends, who had lived with Shannon, had recently informed me that he had a crush on one of our good friends. Ironically I had a crush at the same time with the exact same person.

We all thought Shannon was as beautiful. He had model looks and everyone knew him to be very smart. The impact I felt was to "up my game" a little bit more and to try to remain a "free spirit." Not always easy I suppose.

Honestly, the list of people who adored him was endless! I had always wanted to be good friends with him but time flew by too quickly. I was thinking that a ton of people have probably asked Shannon to be their guardian angel and there is a loooooooooong line of people on a wait list.

I hope I haven't drone on too long. My mother recently passed a few months ago and I'm still strongly feeling the sting. I am going to ask my good friend to write you some of the stories that he has about Shannon (since they lived together)>

Please feel free to ask further question! Thank you so much.

It's Mom again.  I'll have a surprise for you in the next few days. 

Heather is coming out later today. 

Love you,

Mom

 

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birthday / Scott Goodno (friend)  Read >>
birthday / Scott Goodno (friend)

just thinking of you.  talked to blake tonight.  he just attended a gun

show in denver and was fantasizing about all the "daisy dukes"

there.  i guess blake likes shotguns.  meant to wish you a "happy

birthday" last week but was out of town.  i'll toast you with a shot

tonight.  miss you.  bye.

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Sláinte / Leif   Read >>
Sláinte / Leif
a toast to you, birthday greetings to yours -- Close
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