First, let me thank everyone who has expressed their condolences online and over the phone. We have been, frankly, overwhelmed by all the good will from all over the world. I don’t think our parents fully understood (nor did Mike) just how much he was loved and admired. To get us through this, my wife and I have spent a couple of sleepless nights reading the postings here and at Newsarama (thank you, Matt Brady) and the John Byrne Forum and it’s helped a great deal. Most touching of all was Cully Hamner’s heartfelt eulogy at Newsarama. Thank you so much, Cully. You are a beautiful man.
Now to the hard part. Mike will have two funeral services.
First, there will be a public viewing this Friday (August 17th) from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Hall-Wynne Funeral Service at 1113 West Main Street in Durham, NC, followed by a chapel service at 2:00. This will be open to any of Mike’s friends and colleagues who’d like to attend. Please come prepared to share a Mike story. I plan on putting you on the spot. It would really help our Mom and Dad through this.
Second, at a time to be determined, there will be a private service for Mike’s family in Lynchburg, where we grew up.
As mentioned before, in lieu of flowers, if you’d like please send donations to the A.S.P.C.A. (aspca.org) or to the Hero Initiative (heroinitiative.org). I had previously mentioned the CBLDF but, having time to think about it, I realized that the Hero Initiative was more Mike’s style. Those wishing to contribute to the CBLDF anyway, please feel free as it’s a worthwhile cause as well.
Finally, some of you have expressed concern over what would become of Mike’s little buddy and constant companion, his cat Charlie. Well, breathe easy. Charlie is coming to live with us in Richmond with our other cat Toonces. I’m not sure how Toonces is going to take to living with the little dynamo that is Charlie, but family is family. Charlie is doing well but obviously misses Mike. He’s been sleeping on Mike’s bed and under his drawing table but he’s active and friendly.
Take care, everyone and, on behalf of our parents, my wife and me, thanks for everything.