Friday, July 06, 2007

Rest in Peace Bill Harmon (Mar 29,1959-July 5, 2007)

I am beside myself with grief. My best friend Bill Harmon died yesterday at Long Island College Hospital. I had to cut my vacation short and rush back to New York to be with him. Fortunately, I got there in time enough for Bill to see me and take his final two breaths. This is the first time I'm dealing with grief on such an intimate level. I've never lost anyone I cared for more or who I was as close to.

Bill Harmon was a dynamic spirit, artist and the best friend anyone could ask for. I'm overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support I've received during this difficult time, especially from my (and Bill's) close friends Pavan, Geralyn, Steve, Joe, and Christine. For those who knew Bill couldn't help but be afftected by his genuine and loving personality. He cared about and loved the black gay community, and all people in fact and was a champion of many causes. My heart is bleeding and I miss him so much. I get comfort however, in the fact that Bill made peace with himself, his life and his battle with cancer and AIDS. He is now finally free of pain. One main lesson that I got from Bill is that no matter what challenges we face in life, we can face them with strength, dignity, and pride. What an inspiration Bill was and continues to be for me.

Below are some photos I took of Bill over time that want to share with everyone, especially those who knew and loved him. We are in the throws of planning Bill's services, so check back here for details if you don't see an email in the coming week.

An impromtu photoshoot at my loft in Bushwick, 2004.

Bill smiling at his certificate for 25 years of service with the Department of the City of New York, 2005.

Shadow flautist. Bill taught himself (and me) to play the Native American flute.

Bill, flute silhouette.

Bill reading his fortune, 2005.

Bill's shelf. Portrait I took of Bill in Havana, Cuba, 2004.

Bill with tulip. 2004.

Bill helping Rashawn Brazell's sister light a candle. Rashawn Brazell Candlelight vigil. Brooklyn, NY Feb 2007.

Happy Birthday Bill March 29, 2007.

Bill Self-portrait. Bill was also an accomplished photographer and loved to experiment with abstraction and photo manipulation.

Self-portrait II.

Bill keeping track of his medication dosages and times.

Bill photographed me from his hospital bed with the lensbaby. May 2007. Brooklyn Hospital.

Bill Playing the flute while taking oxygen. June 2007. Mount Sinai Medical Center

Bill walking through Strawberry Fields in Central Park, New York, a day after he was released from the hospital last month. June 2007

Bill Harmon. 2004.

Playful Bill and Ocean--Best of Friends, 2006. Photo by Geralyn Shukwit.

I love and miss you so much Bill! Until we see each other again...


EpiphanyNoir said...

God has taken your friend home because he's needed more there. Grieve for now but take up his cause as if it is your own and carry on his memory. Your photos clearly show your love for him and his for you...
You have my sincere heart felt sympathy, I have been there more than once in the past two years and your tribute in images helps me and others know he existed and was a good man. I'm reaching out with a cyber hug from Toronto!

Kibosh said...

Very touching photos. My deepest condolences, Ocean.

Daddy said...

Condolences, man.
Hope all is well now. I enjoy your

blaque2blaquepozbrothas said...

Truly a fitting tribute to an Adodi Brother. His smiling face will be missed.

Mr.Mike said...

Very Very Touching Story. I Enjoyed Reading And Felt The Friendship You Both Shared.