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How does one deal with this.


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#1 I'moutahere

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 01:51 AM

Just got off the phone to a mate in Melbourne who called. We were talking about a bloke I've known for maybe 50 years. Many here will know him or maybe met him or sailed with him, or done business with him. Ted Silberiesen.

I have sailed with him & against him in 14's. Done several Hobarts with him. God knows how many races I've sailed with him on more boats than I can remember. I've been skiing with him. I was best man at his wedding. We've drunk a lot of piss together.

He was part of the Australia II team in 1983 as a sailmaker. When he arrived back he came to the club (prearranged) and when he walked in, there were maybe 250 people who gave him a standing ovation, just because he was ours and part of the Cup winning team. He was gob-smacked. I can still see the look on his face. None of those guys had any idea of what that Americas Cup win meant to the country.

He has been a sailmaker all his life - has a loft in Melbourne. He has even had a visit in hospital from the guy he was apprenticed to way back when I first met him - Bob Keely - more than 90 y.o. If you see a sail with the logo a T on it, it was made by Ted.

He has a brain tumor. Only has a few weeks to go, and maybe only a couple of weeks of being lucid enough to talk to people. So if anyone here wishes to see him - please do it soon. Visitors & talk of old times are all that can be done now.

This is very difficult to deal with.

#2 LakeBoy

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:04 AM

So sorry to hear about you mate. Sounds like you are doing the right thing. Get the word out to others, stick by his side and reminisce about the good old days. Our thoughts are with you both.

#3 axolotl

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:05 AM

Better than having no time.

Earlier this year, a mate I've spent 10 years sailing with died from abdominal cancer. One weekend, he was there in good spirits, three weeks later he was gone. Finally complained to the doctor about abdominal pain, a CT scan revealed it was over. When my dad died in the eighties, we had a month or two to fly in and be with him. Much better to look into his eyes and tell him how much we loved him and his life with us.

We spread my mate's ashes at sea, the way he wanted it to be.

#4 mainsheetsister

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:05 AM

Watching this happen to someone you love is the most helpless feeling in the world.

It goes without saying that you should tell your friend how much he means to you.

So sorry.

#5 George Hackett

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:20 AM

i agree with mainsheetsister. my mom had a long slow death from lung cancer. last year was spent in her bed with a tube in her throat to breath and a tube in her side for feeding. i watched her disappear in front of me. the whole time she was lucid but could only manage one word at a time if she had the strength to speak. i was lucky that i was able to tell her a lot of things and that she got to know her grand son Allen named after her husband. yet the end came without notice.

it was my dad i had the most regret with. he taught me to sail. and he disciplined the hell out of me. he was only 65 and sailing every thursdays and saturdays. the last time i saw him was the night he died. he was watching TV with my mom when i said good night to them. had classes the next day. an hour later my mom woke me up in a panic. i found my dad in his favorite chair, head back and gone. still had dog cookies in his hand for our dogs's evening snacks.

just open up and let him know.

#6 R Booze

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:33 AM

As big of an ass that you can be here, Johnny, I'm honestly sad for you that your good pal is on his last leg of that voyage called Life. It truly sux, I've been thru it a half dozen times in the past two decades and I know both how fucked-up & unfair this is, and how helpless you feel right now. My only suggestion? Go spend as much time with him as possible, dig out your photos, talk story, slap each other on the shoulder and reflect & reminence about The Good Olde Days. And be there for him....strong. He needs you, his family and his friends now more than ever. And when he slips his mooring lines for the last time.....hopefully there'll be a hint of a grin on his face. And that will tell you that he's ready to go.

Good luck, Pal. I mean it....

#7 stranded

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:49 AM

we can never know what life will deal out to us and those we know

things can turn upside down in an instant


we can never know what is ahead of us

we need to seize what we have and make the most of it NOW.


things that have happened in my family and circle of friends have taught me this



Sounds like Ted has some serious runs on the board.


My thoughts are with him, his family and friends, inc Johnny, the bringer of this bad news


this stuff is NEVER easy ....

#8 2high2tight

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:56 AM

my dad had a childhood friend who he stayed close with all his life. they slowly grew apart to the 6month connection level after both ended up on opposite coasts in florida. he calls one day and the guy is gone. his wife said that he didn't want anyone to know he was dying from cancer. it has tortured my Dad since then. Saying goodbye is painful. not getting to say goodbye is hell.

#9 Great Red Shark

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:57 AM

Better to have the chance to tell him how much his friendship has meant than the sudden passage, "Oh, we meant to get together sometime soon and never got to it..."

#10 I'moutahere

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:57 AM

As big of an ass that you can be here, Johnny, I'm honestly sad for you that your good pal is on his last leg of that voyage called Life. It truly sux, I've been thru it a half dozen times in the past two decades and I know both how fucked-up & unfair this is, and how helpless you feel right now. My only suggestion? Go spend as much time with him as possible, dig out your photos, talk story, slap each other on the shoulder and reflect & reminence about The Good Olde Days. And be there for him....strong. He needs you, his family and his friends now more than ever. And when he slips his mooring lines for the last time.....hopefully there'll be a hint of a grin on his face. And that will tell you that he's ready to go.

Good luck, Pal. I mean it....


Thanks mate. He will be number 7 this year, and the third from the same cause. Ain't easy.

#11 One eye Jack

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:02 AM

Sounds like you and your friend needs to go for a last sail..and enjoy ..My dad had Parkinson's..it's sad to see somebody that you know just wither away...

#12 R Booze

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:07 AM

This growing-up shit is really highly over rated....

#13 isma

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:16 AM

This may take your relationship out of the norm, but hold his hand when you visit at the hospital or wherever you see him. We are creatures, we crave touching when we enter and exit the world. Spend as much time as you can and relive the great times you had together...make him smile.

I don't always agree with you but do not ignore your friend, see him every day if possible, and let him know how his life impacted yours and others in a positive fashion.


Sucks and I don't know or need to know the guy.

#14 I'moutahere

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:21 AM

This may take your relationship out of the norm, but hold his hand when you visit at the hospital or wherever you see him. We are creatures, we crave touching when we enter and exit the world. Spend as much time as you can and relive the great times you had together...make him smile.

I don't always agree with you but do not ignore your friend, see him every day if possible, and let him know how his life impacted yours and others in a positive fashion.


Sucks and I don't know or need to know the guy.


I am 3000 km away at the other end of the country unfortunately. I hope to get down there to see him. I know there are dozens - maybe 100 or more that will go & see him. That's what he needs & the reason for this thread - to reach as many as possible.

#15 isma

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:23 AM


This may take your relationship out of the norm, but hold his hand when you visit at the hospital or wherever you see him. We are creatures, we crave touching when we enter and exit the world. Spend as much time as you can and relive the great times you had together...make him smile.

I don't always agree with you but do not ignore your friend, see him every day if possible, and let him know how his life impacted yours and others in a positive fashion.


Sucks and I don't know or need to know the guy.


I am 3000 km away at the other end of the country unfortunately. I hope to get down there to see him. I know there are dozens - maybe 100 or more that will go & see him. That's what he needs & the reason for this thread - to reach as many as possible.

I've been there, hop on a plane and go see him...no regrets.

#16 Flatbag

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 04:38 AM

Differences aside, it's sad news indeed JS. Teds a bloody good bloke and you will be pleased to know there are lots of Sandy people visiting him. We all miss his battered old Mercedes in the car park. Lots of boats around these parts with T logo sails with their distinctive panel layout on them including of course the mighty Bus.
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#17 Dark Cloud

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 04:42 AM

I've got several sails with the red T on it, all made in the last few years.

Shit news.

#18 Bump-n-Grind

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 04:46 AM


As big of an ass that you can be here, Johnny, I'm honestly sad for you that your good pal is on his last leg of that voyage called Life. It truly sux, I've been thru it a half dozen times in the past two decades and I know both how fucked-up & unfair this is, and how helpless you feel right now. My only suggestion? Go spend as much time with him as possible, dig out your photos, talk story, slap each other on the shoulder and reflect & reminence about The Good Olde Days. And be there for him....strong. He needs you, his family and his friends now more than ever. And when he slips his mooring lines for the last time.....hopefully there'll be a hint of a grin on his face. And that will tell you that he's ready to go.

Good luck, Pal. I mean it....


Thanks mate. He will be number 7 this year, and the third from the same cause. Ain't easy.


Including MSG who I never really met in person but talked to a lot on here and on FB, the total this year is 5. Going down to VA Beach tomorrow night to visit a old friend who just got hit with pancreatic Cword.. he's got about a month left.. can't see puttin it off so just going.

#19 SPORTSCAR

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 05:41 AM

Such bad news about Teddie, John. The good ones are going too fast.

I just got back from the funeral this morning for Ian Ewing who, you may recall, sailed for so many years with John Lake on his various boats including the big Steinmann "Flying Colours". Ian was a former Commodore of Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron and an all round nice bloke. He passed away last Monday, way too soon at just 73 years of age and will be greatly missed.

Was speaking with Geoff Simpson about Ted earlier today too. All of SYC is so saddened by the news.

#20 I'moutahere

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 06:02 AM

Such bad news about Teddie, John. The good ones are going too fast.

I just got back from the funeral this morning for Ian Ewing who, you may recall, sailed for so many years with John Lake on his various boats including the big Steinmann "Flying Colours". Ian was a former Commodore of Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron and an all round nice bloke. He passed away last Monday, way too soon at just 73 years of age and will be greatly missed.

Was speaking with Geoff Simpson about Ted earlier today too. All of SYC is so saddened by the news.


It will be a comfort to many that so many people care, and going by emails & calls I'm getting, he is getting a lot of visitors.

Apparently his short term memory is shot - can't remember who he saw yesterday, but he can remember all the stories & racing & "white lies" & stuff from years back. That stuff gets him thru the day I'm told.

#21 Recidivist

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 06:28 AM

JS, we just lost one of my longest and best friends last weekend. Same cause. He went to Sydney for his 5th brain op - more for everyone else's sake than his own, he abhorred the ops. Came through OK but the problem was from necrosis, not another tumour. This meant he was going to lose more mobility and the steroids would make infection control very difficult. I think he decided enough was enough and when they moved him from ICU to a ward, he passed away that night. If he'd made it back home, it was only weeks to go but we would have been with him.

We had visited with him Sunday before he left and everyone treated him as normally as we had for the past year while this was all going on. He smiled and joked, had a couple of glasses of wine and it was all good.

So while you know, and your mate knows, the end is near, don't make it maudlin. Be as relaxed and normal as always. The goodbyes don't have to be spoken - they are understood. Good reminiscences is the best approach IMHO.

Good luck with it.

#22 Corley

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 06:49 AM

Really sad news, I've repaired Ted's Mercedes in the past and visited his loft a couple of times. The first time I met him I could tell he was someone special, you can tell the good ones immediately you feel easy in their company like meeting an old friend you have not seen for years.

#23 mainsheetsister

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 11:15 AM

Apparently his short term memory is shot - can't remember who he saw yesterday, but he can remember all the stories & racing & "white lies" & stuff from years back. That stuff gets him thru the day I'm told.



Write him a letter...keep it simple...but then he can hold it in his hand and read it again and again.

Between the drugs and the pain, Catherine had no clue what day it was near the end, but those things that she could hold in her hand helped bring her back when she was trying to figure it out.

Be well.

#24 I'moutahere

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 01:04 AM



Apparently his short term memory is shot - can't remember who he saw yesterday, but he can remember all the stories & racing & "white lies" & stuff from years back. That stuff gets him thru the day I'm told.



Write him a letter...keep it simple...but then he can hold it in his hand and read it again and again.

Between the drugs and the pain, Catherine had no clue what day it was near the end, but those things that she could hold in her hand helped bring her back when she was trying to figure it out.

Be well.

We are going to set up a Skype call. He can also contact a mate in Norway. Just hope I can hold it together.

#25 tuf-luf

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 02:15 AM

Show him this thread JS.

You're a good friend for speaking openly about your admiration for him.

Very sorry for your hurt...he sounds like a top bloke mate.

#26 zerothehero

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 03:06 AM

tell him what he means to you. You won't get a second chance. Be honest and open, let him know. I have been where you are and it is such a hopelessly powerful feeling. Don't hold back. Be in the moment and make it count.

#27 Off Watch

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 05:39 AM

I always thought that when I go I wanted it to be quick and hopefully doing somthing that I enjoyed such as sailing or climbing,

I changed my mind after dealing with my Dads death 7 years ago were he had a month where we knew he was terminal, It was really good to be able to say good bye

Compared to the loss of my Cousin in a sailing accident in the prime of his life 30 years ago and it still haunts me.

Take the time to say good bye to your friend and let them know how much they mean to you.

#28 Paps

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 07:38 AM

Yeah, sometimes life seems to suck big ones. Thoughts are with you and his family and friends JS.

Kinda puts some of the shit that goes on in here into perspective dun it.




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