On the loss of a dear friend, Tom O’Gorman


One of the photos on Tom's FB wall.  It means 'Love conquers all'
One of the photos on Tom’s FB wall.
It means ‘Love conquers all’

I wish I was writing this on my fiction blog. A tale that I made up in a mad creative moment. But no… it really happened. The life of my lovely friend Tom was taken in a way which I can hardly believe and certainly cannot put here.

I met Tom on Independence Day 2012. Though we’d had a bit of Facebook banter before then. We met to help our mutual American friend, far from home, celebrate the 4th of July. Within a few minutes we were slagging each, other which for me is always a good sign. 🙂 I’d travelled on public transport that night and there was no way he would let me walk across town to the Luas stop on my own. He took an alternative (and convoluted) route home so that he could walk with me. He was a total gentleman – in every sense.

He had many interests – politics, faith, ethics, law, history and sport to name a few. He was way cleverer than me and though we talked about faith and work a lot, most of the time we laughed and joked. He had such a fantastic sense of humour. He was a great writer and told me that he would love to try his hand at writing comedy. He thought I was funny too – not a comedienne though… he said I was more a humourist. I liked that 🙂 He thought I was funnier in person than on paper though. So we decided that we’d give it a go and write a comedy sketch together.  Sadly we never got around to it.

Over the last few months I could sense a deepening in his devotion to God and when we talked, it was more and more about spiritual matters. He was eager to serve God more and better and he shared with me some of his hopes and plans for the next few years. It is painful to think they will not come to pass. He became like a big brother figure in my life. Checking in with me regularly, asking me how I was. Always promising to pray for me, which I’m sure he did.

Tom had many many friends. Most of them knew him longer and I’m sure better than me. But over the last 18 months we became great buddies. Or ‘budsos’ as we called each other.

Tom had an amazing range of accents and was even better at the ‘Tallaght’ accent than I was.  Our parting greeting was usually in ‘Tallafornian’.
He’d always say something along the lines of…

“See ya soon bud yeah?”

My answer always was – and is today, “Deffo!”

*****

My sincere condolences and prayers go to his family, work colleagues, friends and all who mourn the loss of such a great guy

Tom RIP

I hope the folk from Pro Life Campaign Ireland don’t mind that I used this lovely photo of Tom that they posted on FB yesterday…

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14 thoughts on “On the loss of a dear friend, Tom O’Gorman

  1. lornafaith

    So sorry for your loss Annmarie…praying for peace and healing for you and those that knew him. What a great tribute you gave him…thanks so much for sharing:)

  2. Carole Brown

    As the “American friend” responsible for introducing you to Tom, I thought I’d chime in with these thoughts. Early this past Sunday morning, before I heard the news, I had a dream that I was chatting with you as we left a church I often used to pray in. I woke up thinking of you and Richard, and also of Tom. I found myself reflecting on “Charming Company” (as I used to refer to our gatherings) and how much I enjoyed and missed the banter since I’ve returned to the States. I was so delighted with how your friendship with him sparked immediately, and how it progressed in the months that followed.

    Around 930 that morning I got the devastating news, which has come in ever more terrible waves over the last few days. Since then, of course, I’ve been reflecting on every interaction we ever had, and savoring everything again. I treasure especially that first time we all got together at the Library Bar, and talked about how we each came to know Jesus. Tom was one of a handful of Irish Catholic men who could explain the process of how he came into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He was not just a cultural Catholic, he was truly a disciple. What a comfort it is now to have been allowed to hear his story, and to have shared such a wonderfully intimate moment with each other.

    As I was praying about this whole situation this morning, I was reflecting on the words of the Creed regarding Jesus: “He was crucified, died, and was buried.” I felt a very deep awareness that Jesus himself was subjected to terrible brutality in his death, and that he was very close to Tom in his agony. I felt certain that Tom was not left to face it alone. Romans 6:5 came to mind, with new meaning: “For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection…”

    Go with God, dear friend. Will miss your charming company……

  3. As Christians, we pray to understand. As writers, we write through the pain, trying to capture what was special about our lost ones so that others, too, will mourn with us and celebrate all they were. I am so sorry you have lost your friend, and obviously much much too soon.

  4. Philip Nolan

    You know I don’t exactly subscribe to your religious views but I never for one minute dismiss the devotion of others, or the special bond they create with each other. It’s a big world and we all find our path. This is a beautiful, emotive and deeply moving tribute to a man who died in the most awful circumstances. You have my heartfelt sympathy.

  5. Annmarie,

    I am sorry to hear of your loss. What a tender tribute you wrote of your friend. I will be lifting you up in prayer. I’m sure your grief is compounded by the way he died. So I’ll pray that God will comfort you as only He can.

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  8. Even now as I read these comments again I wish I was able to respond individually but I can’t.
    Thank you all for your encouraging words and your prayers and thoughts that have been sent via this blog and FB/Twitter etc Really appreciated and needed. xx

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