Saying good-bye to Tom Pigott was NOT on my agenda for today.*
Then again, I’ll readily admit that hearing news that someone I care about has died is not something I would easily put on my “to-do” list for ANY day of the week.
For as Mary Oliver writes in her poem, The Summer Day:
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
I met Tom in June, 2010 while I was on a tour of Ireland that was directed by Tom’s company, and hosted by my friend (and colleague/mentor) Brian Luke Seaward. It was indeed an enchanted (and enchanting) trip for me – and for a lot of reasons.
And, meeting Tom–this bigger-than-life, huge-hearted teddy-bear of a guy with a lovely voice to boot–was an unexpected bonus. Our paths had crossed at a time–and in a way–that magically captured a piece of my heart. In this You-Tube clip, you can get a taste of Tom–the tour guide, story-teller and singer.
Tom sure seemed to have figured out what to do with his “one wild and precious life.” He had a profound love for his native Ireland, an unbounded pride in being Irish and a special gift for sharing Ireland’s music, language and stories.
And, perhaps even more importantly, he was able to reach the end of his life in the same way he lived it. I’m told that he died of a heart attack while participating in an Irish Music cruise in the Caribbean. A Facebook update reported that:
He was feeling good and laughing with all of us just minutes before he passed. We were listening to an Irish session which was what he loved and enjoyed.
Earlier this evening, a number of us who had participated in the Summer Soul-stice Riff Raff Tour of 2010 gathered virtually under our respective view of the moon–each in our own way to offer Tom our wishes for safe passage, love, and peace on this new phase of his journey.
For many of us, those moments included a song that had bound us together throughout the trip and afterwards, entitled Safe Home by Johnsmith.
The lyrics seem especially appropriate for the occasion, especially the chorus:
Safe Home, Safe Home, Safe Home will you go May the light of the moon smile down on your road Safe Home, Safe Home, Safe Home will you go Until I next see you, safe home will you go
Rest in peace, my friend!
* First published 5 February, 2012.