On 9th February we received an email from Pam Cook. Pam is the mother of one of our members, Clay Cook (who went by the name of Doirche at the Guild). In her email she said that Clay had taken his own life on 6th September 2013.
Clay joined the Cartographers' Guild in March 2008 and was a regular visitor until April 2012. Both talented and friendly he was working on the undermountain back in print project and came to produce a stunning dungeon map as you can see from the picture below. The thread is here. I am sure that all of you are proud that Clay was one of our number and held to our values of being supportive, friendly and helpful. If you want to post any messages of condolence to Clay's family you can do so here as they will be visiting this forum as a place where Clay's footprints remain and they can remember him. if you would like to contact Pam directly by email, please let me know by PM and I will supply you with her email address.
Pam has kindly agreed for her email about Clay to be copied here for the Guild to read, and I attach it below. I would please ask that if anyone here is going through emotional turmoil that they consider their families and friends as first ports of call for help. Please look here for help and advice too. There are are always willing hands to help you through the darkness.
+++ Text of Email dated 13 February 2014 from Pam Cook to ravells +++
Ravi, please don't remove Clay's name from the membership roll or his posts from the forum. His friends and I would like to go back and read these posts from time to time. It was nice to see that there were members from other countries who held his work in high regard, and I hope it made him proud. Making a public announcement is a great idea, and you can give my contact information to anyone who would like to get in touch with me about Clay. Teaching himself to use Adobe Illustrator was just one of his many talents. He also did an animated Christmas light display synchronized to Christmas carols. At the time that he did it, not many people in the country did this sort of thing; now it is becoming more common. I am going to post a link below to the one he did that I liked best, "Carol of the Bells." I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. It gave him so much pleasure to create this display!
Carol Of The Bells - Cook 2009.wmv - YouTube
And in this youtube clip below, he gives a walking audio-video commentary on how he did the power setup for the display. It was a lot of work!
Cook Christmas Display 2009 Walkthrough Power Distribution - YouTube
By occupation, Clay was a systems network engineer. He had many academic awards throughout his school years, he was popular and had many friends, and his teachers loved him. He had such a creative mind and was full of energy. Alcoholism is a progressive disease; it is not a character flaw. He wished to God he had the strength to stop drinking, and when he felt he could no longer live with the pain of what his life had become, he chose to end it in a horrific way, by hanging himself. I'm glad his pain is over, but mine will go on forever. I recently saw a picture he had posted online of him holding the D&D map he worked on. One day when the world starts to make sense again, I would like to make a copy of it and frame it. He was my firstborn and only son, a very bright light in my world, now extinguished.
Thank you for responding to me. It means the world to me! I would be happy to hear from you again from time to time. Please remember my son.