There is no need to reply to this, but feel free to if you wish. I just need to write down the events of my night & morning.
Yesterday at work, while making various deliveries through the Twin Cities, I still knew only that Denis was "very ill". During the day, my thoughts kept returning to him, and the nagging intuition that the cancer had returned. When I got home in the late afternoon, I went straight to my computer and this site, and here the bad news was waiting for me. "Inoperable". "Palliative Care Ward". Devastation.
I had agreed to take third shift (graveyard) that same night and needed to rest, but I could not. All I could think about was Piggy, my favorite of all the rock guitarists I've worshipped over the years -- dying in some hospital a trillion miles away. I'm sure you all know about that powerless feeling.
Anyway, I logged back on at 11:00 PM, and throughout the night I thought about nothing else. I tried to listen to the Piggy jams that I had re-downloaded, but it was too depressing for me at the time. A bit of Monty Python cheered me up for a minute or two here & there, but it was a very difficult night. After my crap 5 hours sleep the night before and nearly 20 hours of driving in one day, I was almost completely exhausted and bordering on fatigue by the time my shift came near an end at 6:30 AM. This was when I said a prayer for Denis, not realizing he was already gone.
One of the things in my life that I've done few enough times to count on two hands is saying a prayer. I prayed that he would somehow beat this cursed fucking thing, and then added that if he could not, that he would go without pain. As I said the prayer, I felt honestly moved, and for a few brief moments Denis actually seemed like my own brother. It was something I'll never be able to properly describe.
On my way home, about a 15 mile drive from my last drop, (which just happened to be at a hospital) I was heading up U.S. Highway 10 towards Blaine when I noticed a very small concentration of rain to the Northwest, in the direction of my new home. The sky was mostly clear otherwise, and the sunrise was breathtaking. As I drew closer to home, I noticed the rainbow for the first time.
If there is one phenomena I have seen few enough times in my life to count on ONE hand, it's a good, clear-cut, quality rainbow. This was the most brilliant and long-lasting of them all, and infact I was able to see it for the next 15 minutes or so. What really threw me for a loop was the fact that it was directly in front of me all the rest of the way home. When I got to my apartment, it was almost directly overhead and I could still see it clearly. I was filled with emotion as I stared into the deep colors & thought about hope for my temporal brother. It wasn't until about 1 hour ago that I woke up & learned the final news.
Call me nuts if you want; but I'm here to tell you that rainbow was PIGGY, or at least a part of him, saying "goodbye" & "all's well".
My thoughts are with all of Denis' family, loved ones and bandmates past & present, and with the rest of my Voivod Fan brothers & sisters. The music world will never be quite the same.
"You have the option to drill additional holes in the label,
causing the record to rotate off the side of the turntable"
-Tom Ellard - Severed Heads