On Friday 29th December 2017, a treasured and close friend to Antonio and Anthony, Gerald Sestanovich died suddenly and unexpectedly in London. In this short story, 'Remembering Gerald Sestanovich, Anthony McMahon tells us about Gerald's life...
On Friday 29th December 2017, being informed about Gerald’s sudden and unexpected death turned a day of joy into a very traumatic journey over this past year. It was like if Gerald just disappeared into dark nothingness with no time to say our goodbyes to such a special friendship. Today one year on I am still in shock, disbelief, and feeling very numb about Gerald’s death.
Gerald was very creative in arts, crafts, tapestry and he always found peace sitting at home doing his “little projects,” as he would always refer them to me as. Each piece of work Gerald created was full of light, joy and changed any negative or sad feelings I had to happiness. The works of joy and love he created are the opposite to many challenging years Gerald had with his mental health well-being after being subject to many traumatic experiences at an early age , which opened a black hole with a difficult path in his life.. However, Gerald always had great hospitality and would always take a genuine interest for the well –being to the people he did meet and always treated everyone well.
The physical absence of Gerald is very difficult as losing Gerald came too soon. The question “why,” will remain within me forever. In human terms I can sit down and look at all different responses, but there is no definite answer to be found why the friendship had to end so suddenly.
Through Christian hope and faith I believe that one day God will reunite our friendship again as hope assures me that Gerald is now in God’s good and strong hands with his tenderness, his mildness, and his love.
Gerald and I had 14 years of friendship filled with many happy memories. In the days, weeks, months, and years ahead there will be difficult days without the physical presence of Gerald as grief has no set formulas of emotions to be followed. It is not I must feel emotion “A” followed by emotion “B” followed by emotion “C“ in my journey of grief. The days ahead will still result in different emotions some being easier than others. It is in these difficult days the many beautiful memories and creative works Gerald has left us with will greatly help me emotionally.
Gerald was very generous and it was a regular custom to be given a little gift which he created with due care and love. In his giving I always found Gerald never counted the cost as Gerald always give freely asking nothing in return. This has taught me about my life as for many years I was looking at best how I could source as much material and financial assets as possible. The friendship with Gerald made me realise the reason how I found it difficult to show love in my daily life. I was caught up in my own selfishness. Gerald showed me living a meaningful life was more important than trying to store up treasures of materialism.
God has makes his presence and speaks me through his Word , Eucharist , and people we encounter. Throughout the years God has also showed his presence to me through Gerald in many ways which has nourished by faith, hope, and love in my life. Gerald one year on since you have left us, I thank you for all the years of friendship we had together. I thank you for the happiness you gave me which I am miss tenfold. I thank you for making me a better person. I thank you for all.
I end now with an eternal memory Gerald
On,13th February 2018 at 1030 hrs, the Rev. Paul Nicholson, celebrated Gerald's life at the The Anglican Church of St Saviour, Hampstead, Eton Road, South Hampstead, London, NW3 4SQ. Then on, 16th February 2018 at 12:00 hrs, the Rev. Elaine Garmam celebrated Gerald's life at St.Paul Episcopal Church, Victoria Street, Rothesay, Isle of Bute, Scotland, PA20 0AP.