October 2006

To: Aaron, Eric
From: Dad (Paul)
Date: Oct. 4, 2006

Guys,

Tom is very bad, slipping toward a coma.

Jane and I are leaving for Calif on Friday morning. We plan to stay for the following week if necessary.

I'll call to keep you updated.

Love Dad

To: Aaron, Eric
From: Dad (Paul)
Date: Oct. 5, 2006

Guys,

I just got a call from Jane.  Tom died this morning.

Our plans have changed and we are leaving for California tomorrow morning.

I'll call when we get there.

Love Dad

To: (All of Tom's mailing list)
From: Paul Macom
Date: Oct. 5, 2006

You were all on the mailing list that Tom was using to communicate his situation. Some of you are family and some of you I don't know. I am Tom's brother, George to many of you.

Tom died this morning at approximately 7:45 am.

His passing was peaceful - at his home. His best friends Dave and Sandy Cooper, cousin Clark as well as other friends including Pamela Elliot and Larry Lewis were present.

Jane and I are scheduled to leave tomorrow morning (Thursday) - unfortunately a day too late.

I assure each of you that Tom was at peace with his situation. He experienced a minimum amount of discomfort over the past couple of weeks. He deteriorated rapidly during the past 10 days or so.

Jane and I will be in California until the end of next week. I will not have email access until I return.

I will miss him.

To: An inquiry about funeral services
Date: 10/5/06
Mike,

Tom did not want the traditional funeral thing.

I don't know exactly what we are going to do.

Where are you located?

My sister and I and Tom's cousin will be in Sac all next week. I will be talking to Dave and Sandy ___________ and perhaps we can arrange an informal get together.

Paul Macom

From: Mike F.
To: Paul Macom
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 2006 19:21:21 -0700
Subject: FW: Potluck to Celebrate the Life of Tom Macom

Tom worked for ALLDATA for 10 years. All of us who knew Tom, miss him dearly. Tom's wish was to be remembered and celebrated for positive things and not mourned. Please join Data Base Devevelopment  in celebrating Tom's life on Friday 10/13 at 11:30 am.

What: Pot-luck to celebrate Tom's life

Where: Corporate Conference Area

When: Friday 11:30 am

Leana Crabtree and Deitra Coleman will be coordinating the event.

To: Tom's Uncles and Aunts
Date: Oct 15, 2006
Uncle Gene, Aunt Pauline, Uncle Jim, Aunt Sally, Kaustuv & Kate

Thank you for the cards.

Jane and I just got back from California.

As I said in an earlier email, Tom's passing was peaceful. Jane and I had already booked flights out but we arrived about 20 hours too late. Although I regret not being there, he was surrounded by his closest friends.

We spent 9 days out there sorting through Tom's possessions and shipping mementoes and family things back here. My oldest son, Eric joined us on Monday and was a huge help. We left a house hold full of things that his friends out there can either have, or distribute as they see fit.

We learned a great deal about Tom while there. In spite of his activities (drug use) that I've always worried about, we learned that Tom was extremely well regarded because of his acceptance of people and the fact that he was always there for people - whether it was someone with a tough time in their life or just giving someone a hand with a project. We heard numerous testimonials to his "goodness". His friends comprised a very wide range of people.

There was a memorial lunch at All Data where he worked on Friday. I met many of his co-workers, his boss and the vice president of the division all of whom had nothing but praise for his expertise at his job. Just before he got ill the company had put him on a special team to train new employees.

Unlike Jane and I, Tom's work was not his life. He enjoyed numerous activities and hobbies and just spending time with friends. I hope I learned something from that.

In accord with his wishes there was no traditional funeral service. Instead Jane and I and all of his close friends (many of them traveled from southern California and one from Nevada) met at his best friends house on Sunday afternoon and evening and we had a memorial there. Anyone who chose to could tell a story about Tom. It was very moving and as far as I'm concerned, much better than the traditional, stiff funeral service.

In the coming weeks I will be putting together a memorial web site with some pictures not just of Tom but of some of his closest friends. I was also able to copy all of his writing that was on his computer. I haven't had a chance to go through it yet but I believe there are some stories that he had written but did not get a chance to share. I'll let you all know when that is completed. Right now I'm too emotional to get started on it.

That's all for now. I'm tired and still trying to come to terms with his passing.

I hope you are all well.

Love,
George (Paul)

From: Cheryl F.
Paul
Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2006 22:53:08 -0400

(Note: At the time Sister Cheryl F____  wrote this message she was in Florida assisting her mother who was in the final stages of cancer.)

Dear Paul,

So sorry for the news of your brother...but good that you could be there with your sister for the sad but reverential act of putting all the other pieces of his life to rest after his his death. I am finding many of the things I did as rote or took for granted, take on a sacred character as I think: this could be the last time we do this, or I will want to remember this, or even I'd rather not be doing this and it would be easier if I were numb or just went away and pretended it did not matter. This is the stuff of life and tunes my spirit to the many hurting people I look into the eyes of every day. It is important, holy, imperative to go through it.

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers during this time of mourning.

Blessings,

Cheryl

Cheryl A. F_____, SC, M.D,
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
William R. Sharpe Jr Hospital

Post Script:  My brother, in many ways, "marched to the beat of a different drummer" at times causing concern and frustration on the part of his family.  He was intelligent and his wisdom with regard to interaction with other human beings grew as he grew older.  I learned first hand while in California the positive impact he had on many people and how highly he was regarded by those who knew him.

Above all of this was his approach to impending death.  If there was a model for coming to terms with and managing the emotional aspects of the end that we all face at some point, Tom embodied that model.

His last wish was to have all of his closest friends and family gather in Hawaii for "a big party".  He wanted his California friends to meet and come to know his immediate family.  He intended to use all of his financial resources on that gathering and worked very hard on the arrangements until he got to the point physically that he simply could not do any more.  I hope that he knows that although it did not occur in Hawaii, the "party" did in fact take place at his best friends' home.