I got the news shortly after getting home from a brief retreat with Joanna and Meagan. I audibly gasped. My long-time friend Keith Pittman had succumbed to injuries sustained from a bike accident. I immediately thought about our most recent interaction, just weeks ago. He looked good. Happier than I’d seen him in a while. Hopeful.

I met Keith in my earliest Parkdale days. He was wearing a ball cap and sitting on some steps, surrounded by what we called the crew- many people we have already said farewell to. I quickly detected his Newfoundland accent and told him of my honorary Newfoundlander status (even though I’m a Mainlander from Toronto). We immediately connected about things like Jigg’s Dinner, bottles of moose meat, and the smell of salt-water air.

Once a track-and-field guy, Keith spoke often of his running days that came to a halt due to an injury. He even set what I believe were provincial records- ones that he was proud to show me on-line. Sharing about those days seemed to make him grin and wince at the same time.

Keith was very open about what he called his “demons”. We had long talks about them, and his regrets. Our time often ended with his prayers. If his children stumble upon this one day: I want you to know that he tearfully spoke of you frequently over many years. I’m so sorry that the journey was such a difficult one for him, and for you.

I will miss Keith: his striking eyes, the way he would inquire about my life (“how ARE you my’love?”), seeing him bike around the neighbourhood. I have already caught myself thinking I see his familiar gait in the distance. I’m sad, just as many people are about Keith’s death. I extend my condolences to his family.

I’m not sure that Keith realized his impact. I hope he did. I also hope he’s now running like the wind, finally out of pain.

Keith Pittman
May 16 1964 – June 4 2019

5 thoughts on “Remembering Keith

  1. Sorry for your loss. It’s good to reflect on your good memories. Take care of yourself this week.❤️💜

  2. This really saddens me I am assuming mental health has a role here. Oh how I despise what this illness does to people. I pray this man is truly free now. Rest in perfect peace.

  3. Good word Erinn: you are much in my prayers. May the writing of this begin the healing of your heart. Loving people comes with wounds. Not loving people births death in us. So we love, but some days it is hard. Love to you my friend and sister… rick

  4. Erinn, Thank you for sharing these thoughtful and beautiful words about your friend, Keith. I hope his children stumble upon your writing and are able to connect with you, someone who knew and loved their Dad and was touched by his life. Take good care of yourself.

  5. Beautifully expressed. It is heart-warming to see someone remembered with the same kind of love that likely he first encountered the day he was born. It is the story in-between where the expressions of love get fractured, so all we can do to remind each other that what ultimately binds us together is love, God’s love and the love we are to have for one another is essential. It sanctifies what we would otherwise think of as common.

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