Finita, la commedia

As the saying goes, “by the time you read this I’ll be dead.” Caitlin has probably posted it by my request, or it’s been posted as part of a dead-man switch. I have known this was coming for years, at times even hoped for it, and most of that time I haven’t ever been afraid of it, although as it’s grown closer I’ve felt equal parts dread and relief, with a little bit of panic mixxed in. I wish I could have lived much, much longer as there is still so much I want to do and see and be a part of, although in the time I had I could not have asked for a more wonderful life. I’ve had the opportunity to do remarkable things, see my dreams made real and changed the world and the lives of many for the better, loved and been loved, and have an amazing daughter who I hope will have her own wonderful life. My biggest sadness is not being able to be a part of more of it, and I have spent many days in tears trying to figure out a way to squeeze more meaningful time out of this life. There’s just so much more I want to do — and I think everyone knows I’ve done a lot. But not enough. If I knew my live was going to be this short, I would have pushed harder, not frittered so much of it away. I wish I’d seized every single opportunity, not just “many of them”, thinking “I can do that next year.” I’ve always thought that for me the “undiscovered country” was in the Star Trek sense of the word — that is, the glorious future — but instead I’ve gotten stuck with Hamlet’s “undiscovered country”, or death: “But that the dread of something after death, the undiscovered country, from whose bourn no traveller returns, puzzles the will, and makes us rather bear those ills we have than fly to others that we know not of?”

The last three or four years have been a daily struggle, beginning with a multi-layered pain made up of a never-ending, never-lulling dull throbbing from the core of my muscles beginning in my legs and eventually spreading out over my entire body, coupled with a constant burning sensation in my skin that made it impossible for me to feel anyone’s touch without it being a bitter agony. I held out hope that a treatment for the pain if not a cure could be found, but every difficult diagnostic step only confirmed the degenerative condition replacing healthy tissue with junk calcium was incurable, and every new attempt to treat the pain only emphasized that it was inescapable. Not only that, but every day it grew. As impossibly painful every day of this process has been, it has been made more difficult by knowing that the next day will always be worse, and every day that goes by I have less defences against a more powerful foe. There was a time that I believed that I could cope with the unending pain, but then the pain’s root began catching up to me as less and less healthy muscle tissue remained. Every day I could walk a little less. Carry a little less. Use my hands a little less. Bit by bit it chipped away at me. As I write this even standing up is indescribably painful, even sitting up, and the idea of walking nightmarish, although I have done my best to hide it and keep it buried. In addition to the muscles breaking down, neurological and autonomic problems have been creeping up, either because of the condition itself or because of the treatment. I’ve certainly said this before, but I don’t feel like I have the strength to keep trying less and less likely options. My mind is the only thing I have left. This has actually been written over several months as I try and assemble it in small pieces while I have enough lucidity to do so. The remainders of my days feel emptier and intellectually lonelier — I can’t begin to describe the horror of going from a voracious reader and consumer of knowledge to someone who looks at a page full of words and sees only a hash of lines and shapes, devoid of real meaning. In any case, I’m done. I’m tired out. I don’t want to do this any more. I have had a very good life, but it’s not good any more.

I do admit that the closest I come to any sense of “life after death” is my nagging suspicion that we’re living in a simulation… I don’t know that I buy the statistical argument (since there is only one “real” reality, and a huge number of simulations, we are almost certainly in a simulation), because it makes so many big assumptions, but there are other convincing hints — the quantized nature of reality, so of the weirdness at the edges of perception, and so on, to say nothing of how “special” life feels. If such a thing is true, I don’t know if perception continues outside of the simulation. I doubt it to be honest. But thinking about such things makes me value both the unreality of existence, the interconnectedness of consciousness, how temporary existence is, and also how permanent and real it is, if that makes any sense… I do hope there’s “more”, but I have accepted the likelihood that there isn’t, and find comfort in both. And really, if it’s a simulation, I have no idea of you just blip out of existence and get your data set analyzed, or if there’s some eternal being that actually experiences your life post-life, as if waking from a dream or playing a game, or if we reboot in some technological reincarnation. We’re all the centre of our universe. That is, right now I feel I could be the only sentience in world filled NPCs. But if you’re reading this, and I’m gone, well, then I guess I was the NPC and you’re the only true consciousness, haha. Naw, I don’t really think any of think on any serious level but I do enjoy thinking about it. And to be clear, as a “no doubts” atheist, I am quite firmly rooted in reality the majority of the time.

I have mixed feelings about the medical treatment that I’ve received. From everything I have seen and understand, I don’t believe that anything could have been done to fundamentally “cure” me (although I suspect that cures for these sorts of genetic conditions will come in a decade or two — I wish I could have made it that long). This condition is what it is, and it was probably fated for me the day I was born. On the positive side, I was given genetic gifts that made me uniquely qualified to achieve the things I did (and again — I wish I had done more), so I really can’t justly complain that I got some bad with the good. But I do believe that there were fundamental shortcomings in the way both my condition and my pain was treated, and that the last few years could have been much more pleasant if the pain had been more aggressively managed. I believe this was in part because of the prejudice of multiple doctors due to my appearance causing them to stereotype me as drug seeking (and the simple reality is that it can be hard to tell, and we are so cruel as to prefer to “punish” the sick than to “reward” the mentally ill). I wish there was some way to make those doctors understand the cruelty they enacted. A patient should have the right to a pain free life, even if that comes with some risk. I understand that doctors are pressured due to our “war on drugs” mentality, but I don’t think all the blame should go on the politicians. In some ways it’s pointless to second guess any of that now because what’s done is done, but the other side of that coin is that countless others in Canada and abroad are going through this right now even if I’ve escaped it. As to the shortcomings in treating my core disease — I’d say that I’ve had virtually no treatment, and unfortunately that is true for almost every sufferer of rare genetic myopathies around the world. Support groups online are horriffic. So I don’t think this is a problem with Canada per se, just that when it comes to genetic diseases, I’m just a little too early in history still. I have also felt very alone when it comes to end-of-life counselling. For a lot of this process I have felt very alone — really, I think the only person who’s really been able to understand it is Caitlin because she’s the only person that’s seen it all first hand and in private with guards down. The last medical thing I want to mention is that I want to strongly advocate for “right to die” legislation. Canada currently has no such thing. It is my strong believe that if I had known that there was a “safe”, pain-free way for me to go at a time of my choosing, hopefully at home surrouded by love, it would have brought me not just enormous peace, but I believe would have given me strength to fight this even longer than I have. As Isaac Asimov said, “No decent human being would allow an animal to suffer without putting it out of its misery. It is only to human beings that human beings are so cruel as to allow them to live on in pain, in hopelessness, in living death, without moving a muscle to help them.” And this is how I have felt for a long time now, trapped in this nightmarish prison of pain. Losing my motor skills hasn’t been fun either, but the pain is the worst part. After writing that I can’t help but think of Keats. I really do hope people will one day have as much right to control their deaths as to control their lives — it is in many ways, the fundamental human right, even more fundamental than thought and self-expression.

Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain–
To thy high requiem become a sod.

It’s hard not to quote the whole thing — take the time to read it if you don’t know it — and while these days I’ve been feeling more like the author of the poem, at times when I am able to get my head over water, I wonder if there is a part of me that is more nightingale’s song than sod… Was it a vision, or a waking dream? Fled is that music: —-do I wake or sleep?

As I mentioned, as an atheist, I am thoroughly convinced that this is the literal end of my adventures, and again, I do find some comfort in that, knowing that my suffering is over. But I was also raised on stories, and I believe that real immortality comes from the stories that are told about you and your life and the way your deeds live on in the lives of others. I have some worries about the process of dying (that it will hurt, or that it will “go wrong” in some way), but I have no fear of death itself in part because I know that the life I chose allowed me to have a special role in changing the course of human civilization — as egotistical or even petty as that may sound, especially if you’re in the group of people that sees body modification as “just another fashion”. Perhaps it’s petty or vain to give body modification such significance, but there’s never been a point in human history where individuals have had this level of self-expressive control over their morphology and physical decorations. The work that I was a part of enriched changed the lives of millions of people for the better (and yes, a few for the worse, but I have no doubt it was a dramatic net positive), and probably even saved the lives of thousands. A friend told me once that my role was that of a “catalyst” — that I started fires inside people that helped them to change themselves (or become themselves) in positive way. I feel so lucky to have found myself in that position, and I want to offer my heartfelt thanks for everyone who made that possible. And I’d like to think that even though I was a big puzzle piece in body modification, that I was a smaller but still important puzzle piece in a larger movement of people from all sorts of diffierent subcultures fighting for mutual support in a diverse patheon of self-expression and dream chasing. I soemtimes regret that I never finished my memoir. I suppose if there’s interest in it in the future, Caitlin has all my notes for it, all my blogs, all my personal photos and videos, to say nothing of the many people who could contribute stories, so if there’s a place for it, I’m sure it will happen. If not, well, let me smile thinking that there is and let that illusion return to dust as I do.

In any case, on body modification, I hope that others will continue this mission. For a while I thought that BME was no longer needed, that its core mission had been achieved. But when I started blogging on the subject again last year, it became clear to me that while there were many, many sites and people posting body modification media, there are very few people providing the mix of community support, political activism, and hard information that BME always strove for. I think that BME can still provide that, but it’s not going to happen without a lot of good people stepping up to help, because it’s clearly having trouble keeping its head over water for a broad range of reasons. For a long time the body modification community, while deeply isolated from the mainstream in a way that may be hard for younger people today to really relate to, had a wonderful sense of solidarity — a sense that we’re all in this together, a sense of all supporting each other’s personal paths, from the subtle to the extreme — but now it feels like there’s infighting and intra-community prejudice. We once all worked together to better ourselves and share our experiences — for example the creation of BME’s various knowledge-bases (birthed from the earlier Usenet FAQs) that brought the world level-headed accurate information on modifications and their risks, as well as the thousands of detailed “experiences” that people wrote — whereas now it seems like the majority of modification media is just about posting pictures, devoid of any real stories or information, reducing them to visual pornography for people to “cheer and jeer” at. All of these changes have slowly eaten away at the character of the body modification community and changed it in subtle and unpleasant ways. I do think this is a fixable problem though, and I have talked to many, many wonderful people (both artists and enthusiasts) who have a strong passion for body modification that I am sure could be part of a restoration effort. I truly hope they will fight to keep changing the world for the better. I still believe that BME is the best place to use as a home for this due to the invaluable content it contains and the inertia it has (and I hope Rachel will accept the help that is offered), but this change has to be bigger than BME as well. I hope that everyone will use their voice for good — if you see something interesting, try and post it along with information about it (or even do a five-question interview), speak out against prejudice and support people’s self-expression, even if it’s not something you would ever want to do or can even relate to, and support the best parts of the industry. Sometimes people give me credit for the things BME achieved, but the reality is that whatever role as a guide or catalyst I played is nothing in comparison to the community as a whole — the little contributions we each made added up into something colossally beautiful. That needs to keep happening. I could go on and on, but I’ve accepted that the time has come for me to rest. I am so proud of everything we have achieved together and I want to see it go on forever. I believe in the good in this community and the importance of our contribution to the human spirit. It would be a very sad thing for this mission to grind to a halt.

My only real regrets lie with not being able to spend more time with those who stay on… My pain is over now, I hope that those who remain can find some solace in knowing that I’m not suffering any more. I wish I could have given them more and especially when it comes to Caitlin and my daughter I feel like they’ve both given me so much more than I could ever return. Caitlin suffered through my immature years, and when things finally started falling into place for us, it all got taken away so cruelly, and she has suffered alongside me though all of this. I owe her more than I could ever explain here and love her so much. And my daughter is probably singlehandedly responsible for turning me into a mature person, and is the reason I’ve held on for as long as I have. No one have I loved more. I would have given up years ago if it weren’t for hoping to spend more time with her. That brings me to one last thing that may be in bad taste. I’ve dedicated my life to helping build and protect the world of body modification and self-expression in general. Even though I was only a small part of the community that ultimately deserves the majority credit, I’d like to believe that I’ve contributed in a unique way, and personally touched many lives for the better, and that the world would be a quite different place were it not for the specific flavor of the efforts I was catalytic in. Of course I have made many mistakes and at times missed my ideals due to my own shortcomings, but in general I’ve tried to help create a world where everyone could express themselves as felt right, and be the person that they imagined themselves to be. To push for people to make their dreams and passions come true, to find new paths to joy and fulfilment, to define a better sense of self and a sense of ones place in the cosmos, bound by awareness and intellectual honesty, caution while exploring the reckless, and mutual respect. I’ve tried to encourage people to uplift each other and be good to each other, especially when it comes to self-expression, and I hope I’ve made meaningful contributions to the so-called human condition. If I have touched your life in some positive way, and you feel you want to give something back to me personally, I am hoping that there are some among you who would be willing to contribute to a trust fund to support my daughter. The person I trust to manage this is Caitlin, who you can reach by email or PayPal at caitlinjane@gmail.com

Finally, a few people have contacted me in the past asking for ashes for creamation art and body modification projects (ink rubbings, implants, and so on). Of course I’m not offended if everyone changes their mind, but I have to admit that I love the idea of living on in the artform (and community) that I’ve loved so much in such a way. Again, the right way to do that would be to contact Caitlin (I just mentioned her email), and ask her to send you some — just be willing to contribute to a share of the costs of cremation of course.

Thank you to everyone who made my life wonderful. I love you all. I wish there had been more of it, and I wish I had more to give. I’m sorry there is so much unfinished, so much left to do, but I am glad to know many wonderful people who will complete it. Last minute reflections and bits of advice… seize every opportunity that’s in front of you and live life to the fullest. Even with everything I’ve done, there is so much more I wish I’d squeezed in. Don’t let a single day (well, maybe a single day) be idle. Have every adventure you can, and explore every street — although treat the one-way streets with caution. Don’t fritter you life away into television, random browsing, and pointless substance abuse (I have at times been guilty of all of these) — although remember there are valid uses for them, both for growth and entertainment. Have passion about the future, and in the present. Especially if you’re young, push your education and your skills to their limits on every level. Don’t just graduate highschool, get a degree, get a doctorate if you can. I know these things aren’t for everyone, they they are for most, and they also open doors to some of the most special adventures. Even if you can’t afford proper schooling there are many, many ways to learn, free courses to volunteering, and so on. Value your health, and the health of our planet, and strive beyond its borders. We have such a glorious future, but never forget that your part in that future could end at any moment, so live a life that you can be pround of. And of course love and treat each other well.

As much as these last years have been the most difficult I can imagine, and there are still many deeds to be done, please know that I have had a wonderful adventure and enjoyed it immensely on the whole.

Live Long and Prosper!

Love always,

Shannon Larratt

* * *

When Time, or soon or late, shall bring
The dreamless sleep that lulls the dead,
Oblivion! may thy languid wing
Wave gently o’er my dying bed!

No band of friends or heirs be there,
To weep, or wish, the coming blow:
No maiden, with dishevelled hair,
To feel, or feign, decorous woe.

But silent let me sink to earth,
With no officious mourners near:
I would not mar one hour of mirth,
Nor startle friendship with a tear.

Yet Love, if Love in such an hour
Could nobly check its useless sighs,
Might then exert its latest power
In her who lives, and him who dies.

‘T were sweet, my Psyche! to the last
Thy features still serene to see:
Forgetful of its struggles past,
E’en Pain itself should smile on thee.

But vain the wish — for Beauty still
Will shrink, as shrinks the ebbing breath;
And women’s tears, produced at will,
Deceive in life, unman in death.

Then lonely be my latest hour,
Without regret, without a groan?
For thousands Death hath ceas’d to lower,
And pain been transient or unknown.

“Ay, but to die, and go,” alas!
Where all have gone, and all must go!
To be the nothing that I was
Ere born to life and living woe!

Count o’er the joys thine hours have seen,
Count ‘er thy days from anguish free,
And know, whatever thou hast been,
‘T is something better not to be.

            - Euthanasia /// Lord Byron

* * *

* * *

186 Comments

  1. Ed frmly p7tms wrote:

    Rest in Peace My Friend. May You find the Undiscovered Country. Words just cant do this justice.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 7:32 am | Permalink
  2. brad beal wrote:

    Rest well. My deepest sympathy to you all at this time, much love and respect

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 7:38 am | Permalink
  3. lna wrote:

    I want to thank you for everything you shared. I learned a lot from you over the last six years and i wish you would have made it so much longer to get to see some of the things you dreamed of. Although we didn’t know I will miss you.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 7:53 am | Permalink
  4. Brody Gerard wrote:

    Rest in peace my friend. Condolences to the family.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 7:55 am | Permalink
  5. Phil wrote:

    Rest in peace.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 7:56 am | Permalink
  6. Jillian wrote:

    Safe and peaceful travels. I am so happy you are free of pain but am saddened for your two loves who will so greatly grieve you. You have left such a strong and wonderful mark that your presence even after death will provide them peace and comfort.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 8:00 am | Permalink
  7. Goodbye, friend. Thank you for everything. RIP glider.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 8:03 am | Permalink
  8. Hey Sailor wrote:

    Shannon’s contribution to our community has been a stepping some for so many of us. Without the education and inspiration, I don’t know where I’d be. Because of BME and IAM, I’ve made so many amazing friends, gone to so many amazing events, learned so much and had many great adventures.

    When I was in high school, I felt out of place and didn’t have many people who were interested in the same things as me. IAM gave me a safe haven to talk openly about whatever I wanted and as a result I made friends all over the world. In fact there see some people I never met buy I still consider close friends.

    Without BME I wouldn’t have made it out of my teens. I also wouldn’t have been educated on health, safety, and quality, so who knows what I’d look like.

    I’ve had many chances to talk to Shannon online both friendly chatter or seeking advice. He was an awesome, friendly, open, caring and patient man during those talks.

    My light and love go out to Ari and Caitlin. I hope their hearts heal and their good memories stay vivid.

    All my love,

    Allison

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 8:12 am | Permalink
  9. Leon wrote:

    RIP, Shannon.
    Thanks for everything you’ve given the world.
    My thoughts and best wishes go out to your family.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 8:17 am | Permalink
  10. Violet wrote:

    You will be missed, Shannon. Thanks for making the world a better, and more beautiful, place. Sending lots of light to your family.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 8:22 am | Permalink
  11. David wrote:

    Goodbye and thank you for everything. I’m sorry it ended up this way. My thoughts are with your family.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 8:35 am | Permalink
  12. Jill wrote:

    You will be greatly missed and not forgotten, Shannon. Rest in peace.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 8:54 am | Permalink
  13. bathory wrote:

    .

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 9:07 am | Permalink
  14. Loobie wrote:

    RIP. may your family carry on your work & may they be looked after well <3

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 9:07 am | Permalink
  15. Francesco wrote:

    RIP Shannon, :(

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink
  16. Stephanie Manuel wrote:

    I know you were an atheist, but God bless you anyway. You seem like you were an eloquent and intelligent man. Good for you to have the boldness to be different. R.I.P.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 9:15 am | Permalink
  17. Alyssa wrote:

    I have more to be grateful for than I could ever possibly convey.

    Peace, finally.

    Thank you, Shannon.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 9:26 am | Permalink
  18. lauren wrote:

    thank you

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 9:29 am | Permalink
  19. veg wrote:

    Many thanks to you, Caitlin, or whoever posted that back. It’s a beautiful text, really, which deserves to be read by many.

    Best of luck to all of you close ones who have been struck by that dramatic event directly and are dealing with it now.

    For what it’s worth, I hope you can feel the amount of respect, consideration and solidarity flowing in, and that it warms you up slightly.

    I hope you find the strenght to make Shannon’s last wishes real eventually, and at the right time, let the willing people in to make BME or wherever a striving bodymod community fueling Shannon’s legacy.

    Like many, I do find comfort in knowing he’s not suffering no more, and that he’ll forever be part of who I am, and who most of us are or possibly will be.

    Sincerely,

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 9:29 am | Permalink
  20. Jane wrote:

    Just like so many others in the mod community, Shannon gave me the insights, information, and the inspiration to take my self-expression to the next level. Before BME, I was just a kid who had a closet facination of all things body-mod. Once I got onto IAM I found the courage to change my physical body in a permanent way that more clearly expressed the inner me.

    Without Shannon I wouldn’t be who I am today.

    Thank you so very much for being who you were in this world.

    My sincerest condolences to all of Shannon’s friends and family.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 9:58 am | Permalink
  21. Doomstin wrote:

    Love and Respect for everything you were and everything you did.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 10:07 am | Permalink
  22. Chad F wrote:

    The work that Shannon did with BME changed the course of my life forever. I met my first love through IAM, hosted a handful of wonderful IAM bbq’s, met a ton of great people – many of whom I still consider good friends. Even after BME he continued to inspire me and reminded me to keep pushing for more from life. His struggle with pain was close to home because my Mother suffers from severe pain on a daily basis but his strength helped me remember that a life with pain can still be enjoyed and have much meaning. I’ll miss the inspiration he gave, but mostly I am deeply sorry for the loss his family is feeling. Rest in peace, Shannon. You were one of the good ones.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink
  23. KimofPain wrote:

    Thank you for everything. My life would surely not be the same without your impact and inspiration over the past 15+ years. My thoughts are with your family, immediate and extended. Forever in our hearts, legends never die.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink
  24. M. Govia wrote:

    Thank you for all the love and light you brought to our community. Your time and sacrifices are appreciated more than words can express.
    Rest well, be in peace.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink
  25. IME wrote:

    “We are all stardust”

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 10:31 am | Permalink
  26. Maggie wrote:

    RIP

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink
  27. Gosia wrote:

    Many thanks Shannon for being a constant source of motivation and inspiration. I look up to you in the parenting department and I know I will be rereading the archives of your blog when I become a parent.

    Caitlin, my thoughts are with you.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink
  28. Isabel wrote:

    Thank you for having existed.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink
  29. Cid wrote:

    Our Lives are not our own. From womb to tomb we are bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime and every kindness we birth our future. Sleep well my dearest friend, perhaps we shall find each other again.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 10:48 am | Permalink
  30. spare-ass annie wrote:

    Rest in peace, Shannon. I didn’t always agree with you but you were a brilliant & honorable person who shared yourself & your knowledge freely and for that I have nothing but respect.

    Much love to your family and friends. You are missed and always will be.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 10:55 am | Permalink
  31. Jon Pawson wrote:

    Shannon changed my life. Just reading this has changed my life again, reset my mind, allowed for a moment of clarity. I think I’m going to get on with it, really get on with it, from this point onwards. I will miss him dearly. Love to his whanau/family. E te mate: Nga mihi aroha ki a koe. Moe mai ra, e hoa. Moe mai ra.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 10:59 am | Permalink
  32. Harrison Nixon wrote:

    RIP and much love brother you will be missed. Thank you for all that you have done and given the modified community

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 11:12 am | Permalink
  33. Lee-ann Dunton wrote:

    Heart-broken. Thank you for everything Shannon.

    And to Caitlin… <3

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 11:18 am | Permalink
  34. Vicky Dreamer wrote:

    Such a massive loss. Rest pain free..

    xx

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink
  35. JuanKi wrote:

    QEPD

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink
  36. Allison wrote:

    Thank you Shannon, for everything. You are missed. And thank you Caitlin for sharing this with all of us.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink
  37. Shannon you are the reason my life took the path it did. You created a place where it was ok to be who you are. Though we only talked a few times you enriched my life as well as others and your passing is a loss for the world and our community will never be the same with out you.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink
  38. Lara wrote:

    RIP, Shannon

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink
  39. Misty wrote:

    Thank you for being you.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 11:44 am | Permalink
  40. lou fontaine wrote:

    Your a part of the person i am today. Thank you shannon. You will never be forgotten.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink
  41. Kat wrote:

    Thank you so much. You deserve the peace you’ve obtained. Thank you, thank you.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink
  42. Crystal wrote:

    I wish I had the chance to tell you how much of an impact you made on my life before you left. Thank you for everything you have done. May you rest in peace Shannon.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink
  43. Shilo V wrote:

    All my love and strength to Shannon’s family. He will be sorely missed & I am eternally thankful for his contributions & drive. I hope there is no more pain for you now, Shannon.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink
  44. Richard wrote:

    Rest in peace, Shannon. Thank you for everything.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Permalink
  45. Chayla wrote:

    Thank you. For everything.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink
  46. bastian wrote:

    You will be missed. Thank you for all you have done and were the catalyst for.
    Rest in Peace.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink
  47. Brion wrote:

    RIP Shannon. It is a sad day for all whose lives he touched. I regret not knowing him better. Respectful condolences to his friends and family.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink
  48. Amber wrote:

    you helped give me (and a million others) a place to fit in when there was nowhere and in that place, I found my husband. thank you for everything.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Permalink
  49. Emily wrote:

    Rest in peace Shannon. Your thoughtfulness and push for community among all us strange ones who never really wanted to get along will unfortunately not likely be found again anytime soon.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Permalink
  50. Trevor Hill wrote:

    Rest in peace….

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink
  51. MissJanet wrote:

    Ruhe in Frieden, Shannon.
    You will be missed, the world was a better place with you in it. From back in 2001, your writing has been a stable influence in my life, I’ll miss your insight, wisdom and humour. Your bravery was extraordinary. Thank you, THANK YOU!

    Caitlin, if you read this, thank you for posting this. I wish you courage, strength and hope.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink
  52. Jennifer wrote:

    I can’t say my sentiment is original, but I can say it’s genuine.

    Thank you for everything you did, Shannon. I would be a different person had it not been for the BME world. Because of the social and educational outlets you created, my life, modification journey, and personal relationships have blossomed beautifully to their full potential- something that would have most likely not have happened otherwise. My gratitude will runs deep, and will last as long as I do.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Permalink
  53. Saoirsa wrote:

    Thank you Shannon. We will continue what you started, don’t worry.

    Rest easy, brother x

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Permalink
  54. Catherine wrote:

    RIP Shannon. You’re so missed.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Permalink
  55. Void wrote:

    Goodbye, Glider. You were one of the greatest men.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Permalink
  56. Kevin B wrote:

    Death has been hard for me to deal with lately… I know you can’t read this, but I just wanted you to know that you are responsible for a large part of who I am today as a human. You helped me (and thousands of others, I’m assuming) find myself when we had nowhere else to turn. I’ll always remember you and the contributions you had on my society.

    And thanks to whomever re-posted Shannon’s last words after they were taken down yesterday. The world needs more visionaries like he was, and everyone should know about him and read his final parting words. Truly moving….

    Rest in peace Shannon!!

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Permalink
  57. Circa V wrote:

    I knew Shannon. Our kids were in the same class at school. I won’t forget a wonderful kids birthday party at the Humber Arboretum. I last saw him this summer at Shakespeare in High Park…much love to Ari & Caitlin.

    Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away into the other room. Everything remains as it was. Henry Scott Holland 1910

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink
  58. Paul Roe wrote:

    Free of the husk that housed you, go on you beautiful man…RIP.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink
  59. Eric Goodwin wrote:

    Shannon will definitely be missed. His contributions are only beginning to be recognized. I’m immensely grateful that I got to know him through his writing.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink
  60. Dan wrote:

    The influence Shannon and BME had is clearly evident on my own body, and will be until I am dust and ash. In peace Shannon, your pain is finally over.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Permalink
  61. Sharon wrote:

    I remember submitting my first piercings and tattoos to BME and how exciting it was that there were other people just like me out there…even being Jewish when things like that are frowned upon it made me so happy to not be alone. I still have a copy of my iAM blog…this is so sad because we grew up on that site and community. He made it okay to be us :( I am sending my love to his family and thank you Shannon for absolutely everything. <3

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Permalink
  62. Jill wrote:

    IAM BME for Life <3 You've been an important figure in many peoples lives and taught us all how to live. May you rest now knowing you will never be forgotten.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink
  63. Lisa wrote:

    While BME as well as IAM was a big part (and influence) of my life back then, you also inspired me postBME. Your activism, your long posts about things that truly matters and of course, your art.
    Thank you.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink
  64. Caro wrote:

    Goodbye and thank you. You will be missed but never forgotten.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink
  65. Greg wrote:

    Years ago we talked over e-mail and you gave me the hope that there were other people out there like me. The world is a better place because of your life.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink
  66. Stephanie wrote:

    I have been typing and re-typing, as it feels that I can not describe how much this loss affects me.
    BME, and therefore Shannon, have changed my life.
    I’ve chatted with Shannon several times, and those conversations will always stay with me.

    Reading his last post gives me strength, his ideas and courage are never to be forgotten.
    Shannon, I really hope you are in a beautiful place now, without pain. Thank you for doing what you did, thank you for being who you were.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Permalink
  67. Roo wrote:

    Take care old chap. Thanks for looking after me when you did, and for much more besides <3

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink
  68. Roo wrote:

    Love to Caitlin, Ari, Richard, Rachel, Devon and the rest of the family.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink
  69. jess wrote:

    I greatly enjoyed reading your writing throughout the years. You will be missed, even though I never met you.

    I discovered BME in my late teens, and can remember that it was somehow pivotal in how I saw myself.

    My thoughts are with your family.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Permalink
  70. Kevin wrote:

    Thank you Shannon for everything. Thank you to whomever was responsible for reposting his last words.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink
  71. Trash wrote:

    Rest in peace my friend, you´ll never be forgotten…

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink
  72. Jesse wrote:

    Heartbroken. I wish the best to Caitlin and Nefarious. I celebrate Shannon’s memory.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Permalink
  73. 一路走好,南无阿弥陀佛

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Permalink
  74. M wrote:

    thank you.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Permalink
  75. dino wrote:

    the body modification world wont be the same without may you rest in peace.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink
  76. J.R. wrote:

    You left open a window– for us climbing life– Thank you for opening doors for me first. See You.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Permalink
  77. Julie wrote:

    Rest in peace.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Permalink
  78. Raskin666 wrote:

    Goodbye, Shannon. Forever grateful to you.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink
  79. PNTRAFN wrote:

    BME/IAM had a huge impact on me and I met some real good people because of it. Thank you for everything you contributed, both to the mod community and the world. RIP Shannon.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Permalink
  80. Kel wrote:

    There’s nothing I can say that everyone else hasn’t already said. Shannon influenced so many people. He saved so many people. I know my life forever changed after stumbling on BME. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for Shannon. For that I cannot thank you enough. Because of you I had the pleasure of meeting so many people I now consider family. And IAM saved my life. Just having a place to be me without judgement was a life saver many times. Again…I cannot thank you enough for what you did for me & so many others. I am so sorry your life was cut short & it ended with so much pain…you will be missed.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 8:04 pm | Permalink
  81. Casey wrote:

    Shannon, You changed my life in ways that I can’t begin to put into words yet. I have been following your blog…your life…for the past 10 years. You are sorely missed.

    My deepest sympathies to Caitlin, Ari, and the rest of Shannon’s loved ones and family. Wishing you all peace.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 9:05 pm | Permalink
  82. Patrick McGuire wrote:

    Shannon, you where one of the very few people who had a distinctly positive influence in this world in everything you did. You will live in our hearts and minds for ever. Peace and love, always.

    Der du von dem Himmel bist,
    Alles Leid und Schmerzen stillest,
    Den, der doppelt elend ist,
    Doppelt mit Erquickung füllest;
    Ach, ich bin des Treibens müde!
    Was soll all der Schmerz und Lust?
    Süßer Friede,
    Komm, ach komm in meine Brust!
    -Johann Wolfgang v. Goethe

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Permalink
  83. vivektommar wrote:

    RIP Shannon Larratt </3, I'm reading each and every comment on facebook and blog, brother you were the true Zen master, your thoughts & words influenced me so much, i came in contact with BME / modblog in 2004, Found out the meaning of freedom and self expression. Your legacy will go on forever, See you on the otherside

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 11:31 pm | Permalink
  84. M wrote:

    goodbye.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 12:17 am | Permalink
  85. Reedee wrote:

    Rest in painless peace.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 1:22 am | Permalink
  86. wave wrote:

    How time eludes us – a century would not have been long enough. You have been leaving by degrees for some time now…but this last evolution is wrenching. At least it seems that way from this side, so I deeply hope it was the smoothest glide from your side.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 2:09 am | Permalink
  87. Nygaard wrote:

    Right now I don’t even know how to process this… I feel like a family member has passed away…

    Hvil i fred, Shannon. Hvil i fred.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 3:05 am | Permalink
  88. JC wrote:

    Goodbye friend. Your life touched mine and opened doors I’d been looking for. I am richer for the experience.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 3:41 am | Permalink
  89. Heiz wrote:

    Thank you, Shannon. Though we never met, I feel like I’ve lost a friend.. This really breaks my heart. Goodbye, you will be remembered.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 5:00 am | Permalink
  90. Erin wrote:

    Sleep well, dear friend, and be at peace. Relax and know your suffering has come to an end.
    You are and will always be loved.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 5:34 am | Permalink
  91. flyingbride wrote:

    Rest in peace! We will miss you forever.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 5:56 am | Permalink
  92. quinnnchick wrote:

    Somewhere in the back of my head is the thought that this is just another Shannon April Fools Day prank. Well, more than thinking it. I’d rather wish it were that.

    Thank you for all that you have let me realize. What could be experienced. What could be changed. Different ways of looking at things. But more than anything, thank you for helping me realize that I am normal…different, but normal.

    and damn boy… that was a truly epic beard :)

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 8:54 am | Permalink
  93. McErin wrote:

    My thoughts are with your family, you will be missed. I’m glad you’re not suffering anymore. Rest well, Shannon.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 9:43 am | Permalink
  94. ghostchant wrote:

    farewell. rest in peace. we will miss you.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 10:28 am | Permalink
  95. orange wrote:

    Thank you Shannon.
    Thank you so very much for everything you ever did.
    As I’ve aged, I’ve lost the need for heroes to look up to – you are still and always will be a hero for me.
    Much love.
    Rest in Painless Peace.
    RIPP

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink
  96. Thanks to Shannon.
    In community,
    Brian

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 10:53 am | Permalink
  97. somegirl wrote:

    Thanks for changing my life. RIP you no longer have to suffer

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 11:26 am | Permalink
  98. talby wrote:

    Peace to you, Shannon.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink
  99. commenteur wrote:

    RIP BROTHER

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink
  100. Cory Sandever wrote:

    Rest in peace my friend. You were one of the biggest influences in my life and I would not be who I am today if it wasn’t you. Words cannot begin to describe the gratitude I have for all that you’ve done. Thank you Shannon.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Permalink
  101. twoguns wrote:

    Thank you for widening my views of life… RIP.

    Bme for life!

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink
  102. Rest well! You have done a real good job here.

    Greetings from germany

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink
  103. estrojennie wrote:

    RIP glider. meeting you changed my life. love to caitlin and ari.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink
  104. dresden wrote:

    Good bye, friend.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink
  105. If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be who I am today, I wouldn’t have met my fiancé and I would have not have had my son. You opened a new world for me that I followed and sacrificed for to be apart of and for that I could never thank you enough Shannon. Rest easy my friend.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink
  106. Shannon, I wish you could have opened your heart and mind to God and accepting Him as master of the universe. You could have gotten so much comfort and STRENGTH in that. I don’t believe a faith in the Creator is a weakness. I believe it’s a strength and acceptance of fact. Well friend, you know the Truth by now. God bless…

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink
  107. By the way, Shannon: Thank you so much for your understanding and encouragement in my preserving my penis and testicles and the penis museum. And thank you for your great suggestions. Elmo The Penis is as much yours as he was mine.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Permalink
  108. dauphine wrote:

    Thank you, and RIP.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink
  109. K wrote:

    My condolences to Caitlin and Nefarious. The world is so much richer for having had Shannon for a brief period of time, and now so much emptier without him.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Permalink
  110. amy scott aka pnp wrote:

    i will forever miss you shannon. i have lost a piece of my soul….youve been in my life online for almost 20 yrs. i met so many people. you and your writings have always inspired me. i will always love you shannon and what you have done for the body modification community. really there are no words to even say. i am happy you are at peace and the pain is no more. but my selfishness still wants you here writing and painting and doing good works. it is going to be hard not to look for you.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Permalink
  111. Lauren wrote:

    Rest peacefully, brother.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink
  112. Roadie wrote:

    Much love to Caitlin, Ari, and Rachel. Shannon was an important part of my life even though we only met a few times. I would be a much different person if it weren’t for his monumental contributions–he made a dramatic impact on my life for the better. I appreciated him and thought he was really, really special. Sorry for your loss, so sorry. The entire community is in shock, but I think I can speak for everyone when I say I’m glad he’s not suffering any longer. RIP Shannon–you will be forever missed and always remembered.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 8:05 pm | Permalink
  113. Penglii wrote:

    Rest In Peace

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Permalink
  114. QueenofCrows wrote:

    Gonna miss your presence in the world, Shannon. Your influence on modern culture has been appreciated — thanks for giving people a voice and the freedom to be as freaky as they wanna be.

    A part of me thinks that this is some big hoax, that you’ve faked your own death and are of living on a boat in the tropics, but no, there’s been too much progressive pain over the past few years, and though I wouldn’t put it past you to set up an elaborate hoax like that, I doubt you’d lie to the community like that and put your daughter and loved ones through such misery.

    My heart goes out to Caitlin and Ari.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 9:18 pm | Permalink
  115. Kobold wrote:

    Wish I could express myself better: But Shannon was a great man who took the time out of his day, years ago, to answer a young kids questions and concerns..

    You’ll be missed, sir.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Permalink
  116. Tdot wrote:

    11 years ago I discovered the BME community. 10 years ago I joined it. 6 years ago I found the courage to show my face on IAM. 2 days ago I finally finished the body modification I had wanted for over a decade, inspired by that community. Yesterday you found peace.

    Thank you Shannon for bringing together a community. Thank you for making public awareness a priority. I will take your messages with me through my career, I promise you that.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 9:55 pm | Permalink
  117. I was fortunate enough to be in contact with Shannon in a minimal way for a couple years over ten years ago. While my contact with Shannon was limited, I came to know him as a highly intelligent, creative and passionate man, someone that I admired and was even jealous of for being so fortunate to be who he was.

    I don’t believe in an afterlife and I don’t think there’s anything left of Shannon but people’s memories of him. I’m glad that I have some and I’m glad that I was able to grow in some small way because of him.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Permalink
  118. Riah wrote:

    I met my husband thru bme. Being from a small area there weren’t many of places for folks into mods to meet. But fate and BME stepped in. Its been 13 years of wonderful and I wanted to thank you Shannon. I literally owe my happiness to you. I pray you are free now and at peace. I pray your family and friends will be comforted in your release. I hope your daughter will have an amazing journey in life and she feels your love forever. Thank you again.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Permalink
  119. Anna wrote:

    To Shannon: Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything you have given me since I was a lost 13 year old who saw herself in the community you created.

    To Caitlin and Nefarious: Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing Shannon with the world. I cannot imagine your loss, but know that I’m sending all my love.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 11:02 pm | Permalink
  120. seth wrote:

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your sharing of perspective and enthusiasm for the world in which you lived. I always wondered how you found enough hours in the day to be such a prolific contributor on so many levels: BME, coding, art, cars, science, family, futurism, healthy cooking, and on and on.

    You’ve made many life-times of contributions.

    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 5:26 am | Permalink
  121. john wrote:

    you are legend
    look forward to seeing you
    enjoy

    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 5:26 am | Permalink
  122. DH wrote:

    One of the most inspiring minds of this generation has gone. He has reached out and touched more people in a positive way than anyone. The world is a lesser place with his passing.

    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 6:15 am | Permalink
  123. Ines wrote:

    Rest in peace, Shannon. I never commented here before, but I’m a long-time reader and I just want to thank you for all you’ve done. I’ve followed BME and your blog for over a decade and what you accomplished was incredible.

    You will be missed, Shannon. You were one of a kind.

    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 6:56 am | Permalink
  124. warren wrote:

    If it wasn’t for your influence, thousands of us wouldn’t be who we are today. A little bit of you will live on in all of us for ever more. RIP Shannon, I’m happy that you have finally found peace after all these years.

    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 7:16 am | Permalink
  125. Em Bem wrote:

    R.I.P Shannon. Thanks for everything. You will be missed. :( Regards to Caitlin and Nafarious.

    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 7:32 am | Permalink
  126. Alicia wrote:

    Thank you…for everything and making me a happy person-I found my second half through BME(IAM) and had been a part of the community for long years. It made my life better,and turned me into a better person, so I can say I owe you.
    Reas in peace friend.Hope you’re happy now, wherever you are…

    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 7:57 am | Permalink
  127. Ivan Caminsk wrote:

    you will be always in our hearts dear Shannon!

    thanks for everything!
    peace!
    much love

    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 8:00 am | Permalink
  128. Victoria wrote:

    Like many of you, I found much needed acceptance in the BME community, and for that I thank Shannon for making that happen. BME has helped shape who I am today and forever changed how I perceived the world and its inhabitants, no matter how off the beaten track they seem to be. The love is there for all.

    Caitlin and Nefarious, I extend my greatest sympathies to you, and hope you peace during this time. <3

    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 8:34 am | Permalink
  129. Xris wrote:

    Incredibly sad news. Shannon was the reason I found myself enthralled in this community. Best wishes to Caitlin and nefarious in these trying times.

    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink
  130. Anna wrote:

    coming from a small place far away from any multicultural metropolis, i stumbled onto BME years ago as a teenager. it was like opening hundreds of doors to other people’s experiences with change, physical and mental. it opened a door to a world i otherwise would not have experienced in that way, and it did that in such a personal, heartfelt fashion that i credit BME and shannon’s work for a big part of the tolerance and (much more importantly) acceptance of all kinds of subcultures and self-expressions i have for other humans now. the stories about shannon’s personal life on this blog made me admire his strength, his passion for knowledge, acquiring new skills and his views on parenting and passing all these thing on to others. he was an inspiration through the years.

    i wish caitlin and ari all the strength in the world.
    ari, i hope your father’s love will run like a golden thread through your life. a childhood full of love is the best foundation for a creative, free-spirited and happy life and i hope yours will be all of these.

    rest in peace, shannon.

    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 9:58 am | Permalink
  131. John wrote:

    Thanks for everything, Shannon.

    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink
  132. Paz wrote:

    Thank you for opening my eyes to the wider possibilities of life and helping me grow into the person I am today.

    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink
  133. DON wrote:

    Thank you, Shannon!

    It was a pleasure and a privilege to be a BME member and contributor for ten happy years: your writing and inspiration has been invaluable in helping me to discover who I am, and to believe in myself.

    Requiescat in pace.

    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink
  134. Karsten wrote:

    RIP Shannon. We never met, but I will miss you deeply. your inspirational writing on&off BME has truly changed my outlook on life, and I am grateful for that. Your art makes me smile everytime I see it.
    I would like to express my sincere condolences to Ari, Caitlin and all of Shannon’s family.
    “Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.”

    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink
  135. Mi wrote:

    Iam just one of the many people whose lives you touched by giving us an outlet and place to feel safe and accepted and I cannot thank you enough for that. While I am very sorry for the circumstances under which I am coming to thank you, you are absolutely justified in your decision. No living thing should be forced to continue on in a life that isn’t worth it anymore, in a body that no longer works.

    Safe travels, and goodbye, Glider.

    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Permalink
  136. lilish wrote:

    You’ve been such an inspiration and I’m so sorry to see you go. I won’t waste my life. I won’t muddle through it looking forward to the weekends, only to do nothing of consequence. Money will not be an excuse and I will experience my life. Thank you for your last advice. You have made an impact and will not be forgotten. My condolences go to your family and friends.

    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink
  137. Cara Roxanne wrote:

    One of the most moving goodbyes I’ve ever read. No one can blame you for wanting to end the pain, and I wish your family and daughter a lifetime of good memories and love. Rest well.

    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Permalink
  138. Sarah wrote:

    Thank for you all you did in our community. You made me realize that I am not alone out there.

    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Permalink
  139. Fisherqueen wrote:

    Thank you for over a decade of inspiration, questioning, and information. Rather than mourn your loss, I will celebrate your life and that you are beyond pain.

    Monday, March 18, 2013 at 10:38 pm | Permalink
  140. Mattia wrote:

    Thank you for evrything, i hope you’ll find peace.

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 6:48 am | Permalink
  141. sPo wrote:

    Goodbye!

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 9:40 am | Permalink
  142. gonzo wrote:

    Muchas gracias por inspirarme en muchos sentidos de la vida.

    no está muerto lo que yace eternamente…

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Permalink
  143. xmemnochx wrote:

    Shannon,
    It was a pleasure to know you…. The time we got to spend in La Paz will be forever with me.
    RIP – glider.

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink
  144. Jen wrote:

    Thank you for the impact you made. It will certainly be different without you. We sure will miss you, Shannon. Glad you’re not in pain anymore. Rest easy. You are a great inspiration to me.

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink
  145. MDN wrote:

    My thoughts go out to the family. I found this post via modblog, which I’ve followed for some time now. His contributions will be missed.
    That said I wish I could thank him for this post. As a fellow atheist, who’s been going through a period of exitential terror, reading these words has been very helpful to me. I hope his family won’t mind if I share this with others in my community. He was right in so many ways about finding peace, the right to death, and seizing everything life has to offer. This is something that deserves to be shared, and I know something that will help others.

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink
  146. Sparrow wrote:

    Thank you Shannon. For everything. We may have butted heads, but you always made me think.

    RIP.

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Permalink
  147. Ruth wrote:

    A world without you in it just doesn’t seem right. You changed my life more than 10 years ago. I would have never had the courage to explore the mod’s I’ve had over the years. You opened my eyes and my heart to new things.

    You taught me to be less judgmental of things I didn’t understand, and to see the beauty in each individual’s self expression. You helped me understand atheists in a way I never would have, being raised in a strict religious home. Your love for your daughter always shined through and I’ve always thought how lucky she is to have a dad like you.

    I never truly believed this day would come, and I wish so much that I’d had an opportunity to strike up a conversation with you, but I feel truly blessed to have been “involved” in your world via the internet. You were an amazing man and your impact on this world will NEVER be forgotten.

    I am so glad that your pain has ended, yet at the same time so sad that you are gone. It will take some time to accept it. Rest in peace, Shannon.

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink
  148. Georges wrote:

    I stumbled onto this website and Shannon’s story by complete accident. A beautiful and eloquently written post. Sad and inspiring at the same time. RIP

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Permalink
  149. Phoenix B wrote:

    We met at least 14+ years ago when you had me do a spider web ink rubbing in your shop. You were an amazing guy and will be greatly missed. But your legacy lives on. RIP

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Permalink
  150. Rob wrote:

    thsnk you shannon larratt, rest in peace, that the lord Jesus bless you.
    :)

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink
  151. elektroika wrote:

    RIP Sharron
    your last text is beautiful , and it deserves to be read

    Friday, March 22, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Permalink
  152. jyoostin wrote:

    My life is better because of you. I have come to understand and accept parts of who I am because of you. I feel lucky to have learnt about your life, because I would like to become a person like you, and I would like to have that affect on other human beings. You’ll certainly live on my memory. Even though we never met or spoke, thank you for everything Shannon.

    Friday, March 22, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Permalink
  153. John wrote:

    Rest in Peace. You were my catalyst; thank you for sharing your life with us.

    Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Permalink
  154. Ally wrote:

    I lost touch with BME in the last few years but that site did awesome things for me and the body mod community (I even met my fiance there). I gained so much knowledge and respect for all aspects of body mods there and I will always carry a part of it with me (first tattoo, BME art). BME for life. RIP dude…Thanks for everything.

    Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink
  155. Hespera wrote:

    Goodbye Shannon. Thank you for great contributions to the body modification community. You have made an impact on countless people’s journey and were truly a special person.

    Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Permalink
  156. Helio wrote:

    You’ve been a great inspiration and was always a pleasure to read your words and thoughts. You have made a great achievement that you’re probably never been aware of. Thank you! RIP. Greetings from Portugal.

    Monday, March 25, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink
  157. konkas wrote:

    You’ll be never forgotten.

    Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink
  158. Eve wrote:

    Rest in peace, Shannon – you opened my eyes to a beautiful world. There will never be enough words to say what you did for myself and countless others, though many of us never had the privilege of meeting you face to face.

    Monday, March 25, 2013 at 11:20 pm | Permalink
  159. emoshaman wrote:

    Shannon helped me become who I am today and made me not afraid to be myself because of BME. Body modification played a huge part in me defining myself, and has saved my life on more than a few occasions. RIP Shannon. You may be gone from this world but your legacy and impact on this world will live forever.

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 1:48 am | Permalink
  160. V Rainbow wrote:

    I’ve read, re-read and read again your final blog Shannon and each time my heart feels like it’s been crushed a little bit more and each time tears erupt from within.
    I personally can’t find the words to emphasize and express the loss that so many people must be feeling now, a large part of me feels happy for you, that you are now finally free from pain – but at such a great cost, and there will be so much that you and your family are now going to miss out on.. no family should have to suffer the heartbreak of losing a loved one – regardless of whether you knew it was coming or not, the pain of you no longer being around will always live on in those whole loved and admired you.

    Ari is going to grow up to be such a remarkable young woman, you have left her with so many wonderful memories of adventures and expeditions, there will always be so much of your life on the internet that she will forever have access to. She will grow up to be so proud of you, her dad.

    To Caitlin: I feel such a sense of loss for you, you have been the closest person to Shannon throughout all of his suffering and it’s now that I would like to thank you for being there for him, I know that sounds silly but so many people are so happy that he has had someone looking after and loving him throughout all of this. Life can be so cruel and I am disgusted at how BME and Rachel have so far failed to acknowledge all that you have done for Shannon and also for the community – I personally think their attitude speaks volumes and none of it good. Perhaps things are different ‘in real life’ – I can only hope so.

    Thank you.. sleep tight, good night.

    Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Permalink
  161. Simc wrote:

    I am so sad to read this. RIP you made an impact. Xxx

    Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink
  162. Aaron wrote:

    Rest in peace Shannon. I have known your name since I was 15 years old I am now 29. BME helped me discover who I was as an individual. For that I will always be grateful. You will be sorely missed Shannon.
    A friend,
    Aaron Thibeault

    Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 8:50 pm | Permalink
  163. Andy wrote:

    Shannon, I always enjoyed reading your personal blog and the stuff you did on BME. Thanks for everything and may you rest in peace.

    My thoughts go out to your family at this time.

    Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Permalink
  164. seth wrote:

    I figured you’d have a lifetime’s worth of posts and tidbits backlogged for auto-posting by the robot. But I guess this really is the last one – the worms ate into your brain. . .

    Friday, March 29, 2013 at 8:05 am | Permalink
  165. peteD. III wrote:

    RIP
    Thank You, so much you have given us.

    A wonderful example of true man and what human beings can be.
    C/S
    My condolences to his family and friends.

    Friday, March 29, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink
  166. Alexandra wrote:

    Thank you so much for everything, I am who I am because of BME and because of you. You always gave me a place to call home.

    Love always.

    Friday, March 29, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Permalink
  167. Ruth wrote:

    I read this final post to a friend who was struggling to make a big move/decision in her life. I’ve talked to her about you a lot over the years, and while she isn’t into body modification herself, she knows a lot about you and the community through me.

    I read this to her, trying to hold back my tears because it’s so moving. And it helped her. She finally understood that she couldn’t keep standing still for fear of the unknown. She made the big change, and couldn’t be happier with her decision. She told me the other day that she can’t stop thinking about living life to the fullest, and even though she didn’t “know” you like those of us who’ve followed BME and you for so long, your life has impacted her in a positive way.

    Thank you for being an amazing human being.

    Sunday, March 31, 2013 at 9:04 am | Permalink
  168. Costcutter wrote:

    May you find peace. You had a huge impact on me from afar and, Iam sure, many others. The lives you touched are undeniably richer for you having been here for the time you were.

    Exitus Acta Probat

    Sunday, March 31, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Permalink
  169. Erik wrote:

    It comes with an alarming discomfort to hear the news of your passing, Shannon, but I could not have pictured a more idyllic and gracious acceptance of one’s fate. As many have said, your words and thoughts have influenced many people and echoed along the bounding corridors of our history. Thank you for all your contributions and I hope you have found all the answers to your questions.

    Sunday, March 31, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Permalink
  170. iam:eternalsunshine wrote:

    .

    Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 1:49 am | Permalink
  171. Bernice wrote:

    ‘I wish I’d seized every single opportunity, not just “many of them”’

    A reminder that we all need to hear from time to time.
    Some beautiful thoughts here that touched a nerve.
    It is with a lump in my throat that I say ‘rest in peace’.

    Bernice

    Thursday, April 4, 2013 at 5:43 am | Permalink
  172. Melodie G wrote:

    Another bright light gone to soon. I learned so much more than I ever knew I wanted to learn from your postings on FB. I looked forward to seeing what you would post next. Anytime I see that beautiful blue I will think of your eyes and how wonderfully they turned out :D RIP Shannon and to your daughter and Caitlin you are in my thoughts.

    Friday, April 5, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Permalink
  173. OwenBrown wrote:

    Oh God Damn Shannon, rest well without pain. I’ve “known” you for 12 years, you changed my life and helped me accept who i am. you hold a special place in my heart and will be there forever. I have no words, none at all.

    Friday, April 5, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Permalink
  174. Shayla wrote:

    Do not stand at my grave and weep,
    I am not there; I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow,
    I am the diamond glints on snow,
    I am the sun on ripened grain,
    I am the gentle autumn rain.
    When you awaken in the morning’s hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circling flight.
    I am the soft starlight at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry,
    I am not there; I did not die.
    Mary Frye

    Saturday, April 6, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Permalink
  175. Keith Ubben wrote:

    RIP Shannon. Your insights and artwork has been an inspiration for over a decade.

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 9:07 pm | Permalink
  176. Rick wrote:

    Thank you for your creativity, passion and clarity. RIP

    Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Permalink
  177. Courtney wrote:

    I feel bad that it took me this long to notice. I never actually knew you but I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your life and experiences. You inspired creativity in me that I never knew was there, inspired me to learn about things I had never even imagined existed and I thank you for that. I wish nothing but the best for your daughter and Caitlin.

    Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Permalink
  178. Billy D wrote:

    Safe home, Shannon. Pioneer of pioneers. The world is a better place because of you, my friend.

    Billy

    Monday, April 15, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink
  179. Andrea wrote:

    I somehow missed this news until a month later…Shannon was so much more to the body modification community, and universe, than I can put into words, in a tiny field. He will be missed.

    Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink
  180. Kay Vee wrote:

    I would like to send a special thank you to everyone who, reading Shannon’s Finita, la commedia, donated money via Caitlinjane@gmail.com . I am honoured that Caitlin has asked me to manage these funds for Ari’s future. I wish I could thank you all personally and tell you how much your gesture means to all of us (and Shannon). With loving thoughts, Kathy Vowinckel (Shannon’s mother)

    Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 5:09 am | Permalink
  181. George wrote:

    Found this blog while looking at the code Shannon wrote and my god it has hit me!

    Firstly condolences to his family and friends.

    His words have touched and inspired me in more ways than I thought possible.

    Rest in peace.

    Monday, April 22, 2013 at 6:27 am | Permalink
  182. Gene Glenn wrote:

    I knew Shannon for 13 yrs. He claimed my son “the first BME baby” we are in the “BME scrapbook” pg.192. Justin was only 7 months old then in 2002. He is now 11 yrs old and like Ari (who is 10) means the world to me. We also added a daughter (Annika)to our family in 2007. Thank Shannon, you changed my life… R.I.P.

    Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 6:22 am | Permalink
  183. habi wrote:

    Condolences to all your loved ones.

    Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 6:41 am | Permalink
  184. Christian Ritenour wrote:

    For several years now I would pop in to see what was new with you and your world of Zen… I never met you or your family, but find myself deeply saddened by your passing… My thoughts are with your family and your daughter… I know at a time like this, words seem to be meaningless; but know that though we have never met, I hope the best for your family, and most importantly, your daughter.

    Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 11:53 pm | Permalink
  185. Elizabeth wrote:

    Years of preparation and I wasnt. I thought R would sail up and down and we’d clown around but pain took you. You’d scoff in life but are an angel in death. Told you so and thank you.

    Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 5:48 am | Permalink
  186. seth wrote:

    I drop by every once in a while, just in case you set the robot to auto-update your site. And, even though you didn’t, I like re-reading some of your sage posts and looking at your vibrant art!

    Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 9:58 am | Permalink

13 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. R.I.P. Shannon Larratt | Piercings By J on Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    [...] at a loss for words over the passing of Shannon.  I guess I will let his words speak for me. Shannon’s [...]

  2. Rest In Peace Shannon Larratt | Professional Body Piercing on Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    [...] ones. Shannon’s last words were posted on his personal blog Zentastic, click here to read his “Finita, la commedia”. There is a well written post by Shawn Porter on his blog about Shannon, “Stay Clam: [...]

  3. [...] Shannon Larratt is Zentastic › Finita, la commedia [...]

  4. RIP Shannon… | hypoderme on Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 10:19 am

    [...] his last words can be read here (backup copy [...]

  5. Remembering Shannon Larratt | Tattoosday UK on Monday, March 18, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    [...] -Shannon Larratt [...]

  6. Pleasure Chest on Monday, March 18, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    [...] suffered from a degenerative condition that left him in constant pain. He posted a very moving goodbye letter explaining his decision to end his own [...]

  7. Catalyst to a Community – Shannon Larratt | Hook Life on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 4:03 am

    [...] Was it a matter of right place at the right or pure genius? Who can say? Truly it was a perfect storm. With the rise of media exposure and the shift from print to digital images people all over the earth could suddenly share their experiences and discuss their passion through sites like BME. A community was born and it was a revolution. Shannon Larratt was truly a catalyst to a generation. In fact, I think Shannon said best in his final blog entry: [...]

  8. Shannon Larratt's Art of Living | Eclectix on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 9:53 am

    [...] Link to Shannon’s “Finita, la commedia” post [...]

  9. Discrimination in healthcare « Diagnosis: Unknown on Friday, March 22, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    [...] anyone wants to read his note in its entirety it is on his blog, but be warned, the content is very emotional and heavy. I was in tears by the [...]

  10. No Title | Noodle.Brain 2011 on Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 11:16 am

    [...] I write, it will never be enough.  He passed on the 15th of March, 2013. In his last blog post (which can be read here) he talks of the wonderful life he had, and said some very great things. One of the quotes that has [...]

  11. [...] doctors in Canada refused to aggressively treat, thinking that he was addicted to pain medication. In his suicide note, Larratt [...]

  12. Shannon Larratt 1973-2013 » dolish.com on Friday, April 12, 2013 at 8:41 am

    [...] You can read his touching End Of Life document here. [...]

  13. [...] Was it a matter of being the right place at the right time or pure genius? Who can say, but it truly was a perfect storm. With the rise of media exposure and the shift from print to digital images people all over the earth could suddenly share their experiences and discuss their passion through sites like BME. A community was born, and it was a revolution. Shannon Larratt was truly a catalyst to a generation. In fact, I think Shannon said best in his final blog entry: [...]

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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