An acquaintance whom I very much admired died suddenly today after a short illness. He was 58. He leaves behind a loving wife, and a teenage daughter. His name was Steve Dillon. He was one of the most extraordinarily creative thinkers I have ever met, a visionary at times, and a kind and generous man. He was also open, loquacious, and wore his not inconsiderable heart on his sleeve. On FB we heard all about the illness. He was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer on Feb 28. This is what he wrote:
“How does one discuss a death sentence? Stage 4 cancer in plural fluid. No curative treatment only palliative chemo therapy. Chemo will make me too tired to work apparently. Suddenly a whole lot of things have become meaningless. Haven’t yet cried- only wished to wake up from this. So the aim is short quality of life I guess. Love Steve”
Over the next two weeks we heard a blow by blow account of his chemo therapy – he was happy in his last post that he wasn’t too tired from the effects of the treatment. Then this post from his wife on the 14th March:
“This is Angela, wanting to let everyone know that Steve is in hospital as he had a stroke. I know he would want all his lovely friends to know and as there are so many it would take me a while to contact you all. That is what Steve would do too. Hence, my reason for putting it as a facebook post.”
Steve died some time late last night after the surprisingly short, complicated outcome of his illness. The friends who loved him and who cared about him regularly posted notes of love on his FB page – there are hundreds. He had thousands of friends.
It was too soon, too sudden. Steve was a wonderful advocate for free music access for all, and his legacy will be remembered not only in Brisbane but around the world.
Vale, Steve. We love you.
I am shocked, distressed, grief stricken and terribly, terribly sad.