It is with a sad and heavy heart in which I blog that my dear friend, Otto Schutt, passed away earlier this week from complications resulting from colon cancer. He was only 40 years old.
Otto's motto, and one that I will always cherish was: Give Thanks. He said those words when I first met him. He said those words when I saw him last.
Otto believed in having developing an attitude of gratefulness. He lived his life by the philosophy: to be of service and to be grateful for every thing that comes our way. This is not some misty, sad remembrance of him. The man was solid in this way of thinking. It breaks my heart to see this mountain of a man and force of positivity struck by this terrible disease.
A month ago when I saw him at his home, he was just about to resume chemotherapy after some setbacks. I asked him if he was angry about getting sick, right when he met the love of his life -- an amazing woman whose name is Indra. He said no. There was no time to be angry. Give thanks.
When my father passed away, he called to tell me to give thanks. I was so bereft I got upset with him. "Thanks for what?" I kept yelling. "This pain will never end."
"Give thanks," he said. "Give thanks." And then he carried me through that first year like a trail guide leading the way, sharing with me his process of grieving as he told me what it was like when his mother passed away seven years ago. The sharing of his experience and strength was a gift. A gift of friendship to which I give thanks.
Yes, Otto's advice would be to have an attitude of gratitude when it comes to this miracle called life.
Rest in peace, my dear brother, my dear friend. I love you so very much and let you go with that love.
Fuck cancer. Give thanks.