Our sincerest thanks

 It has taken us more than a week to put together this short post. Stringing together even the most simple of words seems like a daunting task. All of us at BME have known and worked with Shannon for more than a decade and we are trying to not only keep ourselves, but BME as well, moving forward in a positive direction. While we are struggling with such a significant loss we also know that you are also looking for answers so we know we have to provide them in the best way that we can. We’ve tried to put this post together to address the questions and concerns that we have been receiving so that everyone is informed about the future. Please forgive us if this post is a little scattered but we are doing our best.

The outpouring of support the community has shown since Shannon’s passing has touched and overwhelmed us.  Many people have talked about auctioning off paintings, jewelry and other items Shannon has given them in order to donate the money to Ari, Shannon’s and Rachel’s daughter.  While this is a wonderful gesture, we would prefer if you could keep it safe and cherish it.  There is no need to auction off anything in order to provide financial support for Ari as she has been living solely with Rachel for over 2 years and is well cared for by her mother. We have been keeping an eye out for auctions so that we may purchase the work to give to Ari. If, for some reason, you don’t want to keep the item or find that you’re unable to, please consider sending it to Ari so that she may have her father’s work to cherish. You can contact Jen ([email protected]) for more information on where to send it if this is something you would like to do and she will provide you with a shipping address.

People have been inquiring about sending in donations to support Ari and we are deeply moved by your kindness. If you would like to donate money that will go directly to Ari’s immediate care, we ask that you please send it to the PayPal account listed below.  All funds sent to this account are deposited directly into a savings account in Ari’s name.  They can be sent via PayPal to [email protected]. Please make sure not to create automatic Paypal links from BME as direct traffic from BME (and other sites prohibited from using Paypal) have caused those accounts and related funds to be seized by Paypal. We don’t want this to happen.  Please include your name and shipping address so that Rachel and Ari can send you a special “thank you” card to show their appreciation for keeping them in your thoughts and hearts during this tremendously difficult time in their lives.

Shannon recently created some new Tshirt designs for BMEshop that had not been offered for sale previously. We are considering printing a limited edition run of these designs as a fundraiser and we will let you know if/when these designs become available.

Please also consider continuing to contribute to BME.  Your contributions ensure that Shannon’s legacy remains alive and also directly helps to support Ari.  We would love it if you have photos of Shannon, from events and other meet ups, to please consider sending those in as well.  They are a wonderful memory for all of us to share and for Ari to see as well.  Submissions can be emailed directly to [email protected] or sent through your BME account.

We ask that people please refrain from emailing Ari.  If you would like to send a message of condolence to her please send it to Rachel ([email protected] – please put Ari’s name in the subject line) so that she may read it to her or save it for a later time when it is more appropriate.

We are aware that various members of the community are getting together to hold memorials in Shannon’s memory.  This is a wonderful gesture.  We would ask that you please provide us with the information on any local memorials and we will help to pass on that information.  We will announce, at a later date, when a larger memorial will be taking place.  A private memorial for family is already planned.

Again we are touched and overwhelmed by the love and support the community has shown and we thank you and appreciate the understanding you have shown us while we continue to grieve.

22 thoughts on “Our sincerest thanks

  1. Guys, don’t forget it was Shannon who asked to donate to Ari via Caitlin, which he trusted greatly to oversee the donations. It’s unfortunate that I haven’t seen any mentions of Caitlin here on modblog.

  2. Proves how kind, generous and compassionate our community really is. R.I.P. Shannon and I hope Ari’s future is as wonderful and exciting as it can possibly be.

  3. Mandy, this was set up in Ari’s name in response to inquiries made to Ari’s mother and other BME staff and as it states, money goes directly into a savings in Ari’s name, that’s all. Please let’s not make anything more out of this.

    This message was posted as a thanks for the outpouring of love and support the community has shown them and the rest of BME’s staff. Let’s keep it positive, for Ari’s sake as well as Rachel’s and the rest of the staff who are also grieving this loss.

    I think that sometime, when she’s ready, it will be a comfort for Ari to be able to read all these kind comments and memories that people have shared about Shannon. I remember when she was born and couldn’t get over how much she’d grown up the last time I saw her when I was out visiting Rachel. I just realized how long ago that was now! Time really gets away from you…

    Dace, your comment was beautiful. I hope that Ari’s life is as rich and wonderful as it can possibly be as well and no doubt it will be.

  4. I fully agree with you, Mandy. We as a community need to keep this peaceful by helping Ari especially, but also by helping Caitlin. She was by Shannon’s side through the last days and we need to remember and respect that.

  5. i’ve been browsing BME since the age of 17. I am now reaching 22. The news has torn me apart although I have never met Shannon or had any personal interactions with the staff but I felt a real connection with him and his ideologies and perspective of mod and undoubtedly helped lead me down a path I can never (without reconstructive procedures) stray away from. My best wishes to Ari and Rachel, his family, and his friends. Shannon, Thank You for everything. Most of all thank you for helping me discover my true form and showing me that I was never alone. Staff, this post has brought me to tears. Thank you all… I know this is quite irrelevant to the post but I felt it was time to express the feeling of not only a fan, but an admirer on many levels.

    Love to you all..

  6. It breaks my heart that Caitlin is not even mentioned in the posts about Shannons passing here. It’s sad and quite telling about what BME represents right now.

  7. MissJanet, perhaps I’m missing something here but I don’t believe that Caitlin ever worked for BME. I know that she was Shannon’s fiance but that was after Shannon had left BME. What exactly is not mentioning her telling about BME?

    To me this post is a thank you to those of us who have expressed support for BME and Shannon’s daughter through these hard times. I especially appreciate the fact that they’ve asked people to reconsider selling Shannon’s art.

    Support Shannon’s family however you wish, but don’t come here to dilute the efforts of others with vague comments. Now is the time to come together in sadness and support for the great life that was lost, not the time to widen the rift between a family that is already fractured.

  8. Jal – Thank you for that. This has been such a difficult time for everyone and it becomes so much harder when people are negative and criticizing. It literally took us a week to put together that post above (it was a combined effort) because we are all grieving and it was incredibly difficult to write. I know this is the internet but we are all real people and we are all really hurting. You are correct, this post is absolutely a thank you to the community who have shown us (all of us) support at a time when we need it. We appreciate it so much.
    No one has been slighting Caitlin here but those who are leaving comments and trying to create drama where there is none are choosing the worst possible time to do so. Out of respect for all of us I hope it stops but mainly for Ari’s sake.

  9. Intersting comment, Jal. When exactly did Ari work for BME? Why is she mentioned here when she hasn’t? It was made clear that she was living with Rachel for 2 years now, so why mention her at all? Caitlin went through so much with Shannon, it would have been just the right thing to at least mention her(especially since she isnot family, so she does not even fall into that group of grievingpeople that was mentioned here).
    Jen, this is not my drama. This is BME acting in really bad taste. I don’t want to speculate over the reasons, but this ain’t right.

  10. I won’t split hairs over wording. Ari and Rachel were the only ones mentioned by name on the post about Shannon’s passing. Family and friends were mentioned and whether Caitlin was legally family or not I’m sure Shannon considered her as such. Lots of people were not mentioned by name, that doesn’t make their grief any less relevant to us. What is bad taste is attacking people while they’re grieving a real loss because you don’t like the way a thank you was worded to the community.

    I just wish people could be nicer. Respect all of us, Rachel, Ari, Caitlin, BME’s staff, Shannon’s family, his friends and his memory and please feel free to think what you like but let’s leave it off of here.

  11. I hope everyone can help out, Shannon helped this community immensely. In my mind, Caitlin is Shannon’s family, but SO IS RACHEL. These fundraising efforts are for ARI, period.

  12. I have been following BME, and Shannon’s personal blog, for years. I really appreciate the thoughtful manner that BME is handling this and the way they are opening their arms to the community, while also being discreet for the sake of Shannon’s friends and family.

    Thank you, Jen, for communicating with the community during this hard time. Shannon was kind and extremely strong to open his life to our exploration and scrutiny; this is probably why many of us, as strangers, were able to feel so close to him. But, regarding his family and friends, perhaps we should give everyone the benefit of the doubt and open our hearts to each other during this difficult time.

    In his letter, I was particularly touched when Shannon encouraged everyone to “live a life that you can be proud of” and to “love and treat each other well.” I, for one, found his life to be inspiring and motivating. If I am able to do 1/4 of what he accomplished, I would count myself lucky.

    And I hope that, as founder and “father” of this site, everything he dreamt would happen for BME will be achieved.

  13. MissJanet, the reason for Ari’s mentioning here is obvious if you’ve read the post. BME created an avenue for people to donate to Ari in response to inquiries they received. It says so right in the post.

    Let’s also not forget that Rachel has been battling multiple sclerosis for just as long as Shannon was battling his disease and what this will mean for Ari. This family, and the BME family, have faced tremendous misfortune the last few years. All I’m asking is that we have some respect for Shannon, his family, and the staff of BME. Save your politics for another day- another post.

  14. As soon as my paycheck clears I will be making a donation to both of the places set up for Ari. I understand that Shannon asked for the money to be sent to Caitlin and I will of course be sending the bulk of my contribution to her out of respect.

    People should be HAPPY multiple accounts are being set up for this lovely little girl. I understand Rachel as an individual has garnered very little trust with some of the more old school members of the community because of various actions taken long ago. These things should have absolutely no bearing on making donations to the child of a man we all loved and respected. I highly doubt Rachel is going to finagle something with donations made for her daughter. To try to drag Caitlin into this is disgusting.

    In closing I have to say even though I only spoke to Shannon through e-mail and IAM a few times many years ago he made a huge impact in my life. I’m not ashamed to say that when I first learned I was having a child it frightened and angered me. Reading about the love he felt for his daughter helped ME recognize how huge of gift I had been given. To this day I try my best to emulate the love and care he showed Ari every moment she was with him. He saved my life with this website when I was 16 and now at 24 he has saved my life again by teaching me to love someone absolutely.

    Thank you Shannon. Thank you and rest easy my friend.

  15. The Philadelphia area BME folks are communally working on a memorial event called STAY CALM to be held 27th April 2013 here in the City of Brotherly Love. (interestingly, Shannon lived here for a short period. I still hear stories of ‘that guy from canada with the big earlobes” from time to time)

    Formatted like BME BBQs/events of days past there will be a park visit for more family oriented fun as well as private suspensions (still working on that) and finally a more festive memorial at a local bar owned by oldschool IAM members who like all of us were saddened by the loss of one of our oldest friends.

    There is no fee for any of the activities (though some are 21+ by necessity) but we’re going to have donation buckets, ticket based auctions (working on raffle items now) and a few choice goodies available. `100% of the monies collected will go directly to Ari.

    We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the folks who’re going to be coming to the event (169 and counting, with folks driving, bussing, flying and carpooling in!) and have been working diligently on hotel group rates and more perks.

    If you use Facebook, you can check out the events page here:

    If you’re considering coming, please RSVP so we can know how many folks to expect. We’d love to see you, whether you’re an oldtimer or a newer bme member. This is a safe space with NO drama or cliques, just friends who want to not only celebrate the passing of a dear friend, but to celebrate his life and the friendships created as a result of his work with BME/IAM.

    There will be Photobooth set up that will update real time, as well as (we’re working on this- so no promises till we figure it out) a video booth option where you can record a personal message about how Shannon, IAM and the BME Community impacted your life. Those will be edited together and donated to BME, so friends all over the world who couldn’t make it can still take part in the community celebration.

    Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this tragic loss. Please stop with the drama and the division- it’s time for our community to remember what we have in common, not what separates us.

    With love,

    Shawn Porter and the Stay Calm planning team of Carmela Porter (sylph), Robin Scott (Phoenixxx) and Brian Sowden (Perk900)

  16. Shawn – That sounds great. One of the hardest things has been that I’m not around any other BME/IAM members because of where I live. I am glad that so many people are able to do things like this and get together with one another.

  17. Even as a small, vanilla, middle of the road housewife, I found comfort, entertainment, and enlightenment when reading Shannon Larrat’s blog over the years. I found him to be an intelligent and thoughtful person who obviously loved his daughter, as well as his friends and family.

    My heart goes out to a little girl who will face the challenges of growing up without her father. I hope that she always knows that he was a positive influence on the world. I hope that she is able to cherish every memory of her time with him.

    To all of you who worked with and knew Shannon, my thoughts are with you as well as you grieve. And, I hope the positive memories can help you heal.

  18. As a younger programmer I would check into Shannon’s blog to check in on his delightfully crisp JavaScript and other code examples. I was also very interested in his art and poetry. If or when a memorial is going to happen I would appreciate a pingback. Thank you.

  19. I was very saddened to hear of Shannon’s passing and my thoughts go out to all his family and friends. I think I have been an IAM member off and on since I was 16 and BME has been there for me through some pretty hard times.
    I wish there was more I could do from England but there isn’t really.
    He was a great man and I have him to thank for alot. Thanks I guess.

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