Saturday, 25 February 2012

February 25, 2012

At noon today, Mike escaped into another realm, like the white dog in Marshall Soules’ collage, like the way he disappeared in Bill Gaston’s dream.

Alison and I had been with him throughout the week, and he was visited by some much loved family members and friends. He signalled with raised eyebrows or frowns that he understood the conversations we were having as we “talked amongst ourselves.” There were many other dear  friends and family members who were not able to see him during these short two weeks, including his much admired older brother who arrived at the hospital just after Mike had died.

He was very well cared for in Nanaimo Hospital’s Palliative Care unit. I stayed overnight in Mike’s room  last night and was with him during the night when he was wakeful. This morning he was awake a lot and, when it was time, he was really ready to go and he just took off. Alison and I were with him, each holding a hand, on either side of the bed, with Victor lying quietly at his feet. We were very proud of his brave endurance of pain and his determined departure.

He had a good life and, we think, no regrets. He’d never been in hospital until all this began last fall.  As John Tucker said when he first heard Mike was ill, "Some people feel too strong to be thus afflicted. Mike is one of them." His life was too short, but we’re glad that his suffering was brief.

There was no one like him, and he will be with us forever.

Thank you all for your love and support. We read your messages to him every day and feel sure that they gave him comfort, as they did us.


  1. Dear Carol and Alison:
    So sorry for your loss. So many fond memories of trodding the boards with Mike, his big voice that matched his big grin and big enthusiasm.

  2. Condolences from the Butler family.
    I know my late Mother Audrey, was a big admirer of Mike and Carol both. Very sad to hear and sorry for your loss.

  3. Annie Dugdale/Correia10 March 2012 at 15:05

    Hi Carol and Alison,

    Hannah and I had our birthdays on the 25th and awoke the next morning to the sad news. It felt so odd that we had been celebrating as Mike battled his way out of this world. I thought he probably would have made light of it with a clever quip.

    We all loved him as children, but being in his class at Malaspina allowed me to know him better as an adult. It warms my heart to remember him saying that he enjoyed having me there. I think it must have looked like I was hanging on his every word, but in truth I sometimes faded off into a fit of fondness for his enthusiasm, his thoughtful looks directed at the ceiling and his boundless positivity. So while he was saying something clever, I was basking in his energy and thinking, "Mike Mathews, I just love you to bits."

    I'm so sad and sorry for your loss, and also grateful that he was here and shared his abundant gifts so freely with the world.

    Much love,