Dear All, I am Michael's sister and I want to post some info and correct a couple of things.
My cousin and I have looked at this thread and we want to thank you for your caring for Michael.
He was a tremendously loving and generous son, brother, uncle, cousin, nephew and friend, as well as a contributor to this community. His family loved him very much and he loved us back.
He died last Friday in his home alone. Why? The post mortem showed no reason. But as you all well know he may have recklessly taken something which stopped his heart or his breathing.
It was a terrible waste. And our heartbreak over his loss will be with us for as long as we live.
We know he wanted to find a deeper purpose for his life. He felt deeply and thought deeply and wanted to make the world a better place.
A Few things:
We appreciate the generosity of those who have contributed to the MS society in his name. At the same time, it feels uncomfortable because his brother who is dealing with MS is a very private person and we don't want to draw attention to him.
About flowers: We have asked people not to send flowers. There will be wildflowers. Send your beautiful thoughts, and help make sure nobody else senselessly dies too young.
We have seen the posts about Michael being demoted as a mod. We know that would have been a blow to him. But we don't believe he harmed himself deliberately or because of anyone here. Please don't blame yourselves or one another.
Michael had pain he did not share.
My brother posted that I was a heroin addict for a while. Well that's just not true. I have never used heroin -- or any other opiate beyond co-codamol for toothache. I'm simply baffled how he got that idea. My cousin said he told her I'd written it in a family letter. I wish he'd talked to me about it so I could have set him right. Somehow that idea became a memory for him, but it was a false one.
I wish Michael had been more cautious. I wish he'd found his purpose, found his happiness in life. I will miss him always.
After you have had time to process and share, we humbly ask that you remove this thread and his profile. His family and close friends deserve privacy. I don't think Michael would want his parents or his niece and nephew to see this.
He valued the people in this community I know you valued him. Keep him in your hearts, stay safe and seek your happiness. That's what he would have wanted....
a_c edit to keep things on topic
Micheal stepped into the moderator role in EADD during a difficult time, I fully supported the choice but as I stood down quite suddenly felt I should step away and leave the new team to move things on.
I'm not going to claim I knew him well although I had always wanted to know him better, we exchanged a few PMs and I knew a little of his life.
The last message I had from him was unexpected, he was concerned for my welfare and took the time to reach out, I was truly moved by that and it just shows what a selfless person he was.
Safe journey Michael