Hello Friends and Family,
Although it is tradition to send flowers during these times, we all know that Gary was anything but traditional. We also know that there are many organizations that he held near and dear to his heart. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to any of the organizations below (or any organization you may think of!), or to Rosary Hill Home, where he was made comfortable during his final days physically with us.
IPSEC – Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition
WESPAC – Westchester Peoples’ Action Coalition
Stony Point Conference Center
Hudson River Sloop Clearwater
A check made out to Rosary Hill Home and mailed to
600 Linda Avenue
Hawthorne, NY 10532
Thank you, all, again, for your continued love, support, thoughts and reflections on the great Gary.
Thank you, all of you, for the overwhelming outpouring of love and support. We are incredibly lucky to have such a special and wide stretching support system.
For those of you who would like to pay their respects, we will have a service on Saturday, June 1, 2019, from 2-6 PM at Edward F. Carter Funeral Home in Croton on Hudson, NY.
41 Grand Street
Croton on Hudson, NY 10520
2-5 PM: visitation/ wake
5-6 PM: eulogy/ speakers
There will be donations in lieu of flowers, more details to come.We love you, all ♥️
Dearest Family and Friends,
Yesterday we sent an update, recounting the last several months of Gary’s journey. One of the things that Gary was holding on to was making it to his youngest daughter’s, Robin, wedding this upcoming August. Knowing that this was, one, not fair to force him to hold on until then, and two, likely that he would not be able to be there, we all gathered together to have a small ceremony surrounding him. Jeanne, his three daughters, and almost all his grandchildren surrounded, as Robin and Marko recited simple yet beautiful vows. Their officiant was one of his granddaughters, which we know he got a kick out of. We played some of his favorite music together, danced, sang, laughed, cried, and said our farewells, not knowing that they would be our last.
At around 3 AM on May 24, 2019, Gary passed and was free to be at peace. It turns out that having one last family gathering, where he could hear and feel the surrounding love, was all he needed to finally feel ready to allow his soul to drift off, to be spread over all of us. He will always be with every single one of us, near and far, through the incredible irreplaceable memories that we share with him.
We thank everyone for your continued support and condolences. A common message that we have received is that “the world is a better place for him being in it.” We know that to be true, and we know that he impacted and improved so many lives just from being him. As he would say, “I am who I am, and I do what I do” as he shrugs his shoulders, humbled and appreciative, for just as many of you have made an impact on him as well.
Due to the holiday weekend, we do not have the service arrangements completed yet. We are working on it and will send the details as soon as we can.
As always, with love, Shaws
Shaw family here. It has been many months since Gary’s last update, so we wanted to send an update on Gary’s behalf. The last update that Gary sent discussed the 6-7 new brain tumors and the potential of full brain radiation. After deciding to decline full brain radiation there was a successful gamma knife procedure on those new tumors. Since then, a spattering of new tumors appeared and the only two options were to forgo treatment all together or full brain radiation. The largest new tumor was on the mobility center and wanting to avoid losing mobility Gary decided to proceed with full brain radiation, which was performed December 10-21. The cognitive declines that were potential side effects began to show gradually. Although declining speech, vision, memory, and mobility and increased confusion were showing, Gary being the man he is powered through to the gym every morning, walking Trixie, enjoying meals with loved ones and laughing and loving all the time. His and Jeanne’s unconditional love for each other being one of his greatest fuels.
By February/ March the confusion and speech had worsened with the thought that perhaps this was not necessarily the cognitive decline we had feared but was caused by brain inflammation as a radiation side effect. He began physical therapy and occupational therapy shortly after as well as began a prescription for steroids to alleviate the potential swelling- it appeared to help significantly, although was not a cure. Steroids are also not a long-term solution due to their side effects as well. Weaning off them seemed to leave him worse than before and after months of juggling a steroid dose it was finally, towards the end of April, time to hire a home health aid and get help from Hospice of Westchester; that was just about 4-6 weeks ago. As conditions worsened and it was clear there was not going to be a change in prognosis; Gary halted doctor appointments, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. The goal changed to just making sure he was comfortable. Home health and Hospice of Westchester helped a lot in the last month until last Friday, 5/17, when conditions drastically worsened. After a very eventful morning to night, it was clear that it was no longer safe for Gary to stay in the house as it was impossible to be comfortable there when mobility was such an issue. He spent Friday night to Wednesday morning at Northern Westchester Hospital, mostly unalert but finally comfortable.
Wednesday morning, he was transferred to a hospice facility in Westchester, where he will reside comfortably until he’s freed from what we can only describe as his worst nightmare. In his last email, and all his life, he has always said “my goal is quality of life and not the length,” and the last few months have been lacking quality of life, despite Jeanne’s tireless and superhuman efforts to keep him in his home on his terms.We don’t know exactly how much time he has left in this body, but we know that his body is ready to let him go. A kind word and hand on the shoulder are always welcome should anyone wish to visit him at Rosary Hill Home in Hawthorne, NY. He may or may not be able to recognize your presence there, but he knows your presence in his life, and he loved the time you shared together.
We love you all and appreciate the love and support that has always been felt by both Jeanne and Gary. The overwhelming feeling of surrounding love has never been taken for granted. Despite the overall devastation, we know how lucky we all are to have had a relatively smooth ride from initial diagnosis until now, filled with a lot of time together, laughter, and love.
Thank you, all of you.