Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Paul Kurtzman

October 1st, 2011, almost 2pm EST. Scott calls and asks if I have heard the horrible news. Knowing Scott and his penchant for goofing around, I knew that was not the case here because of the cold tone in his voice. "Bro, RVT is dead" were the words he spoke and as I lay in my bed that afternoon taking in some college football, the stunned silence that existed between the two of us was numbing.

I met Paul Kurtzman or RVT (Robin Von Trapp) of the message boards we frequented together over the last 7 or so years, in the Summer of 2006. He opened his home to me in Quincy, MA when I traveled to be a part of the ROH swing of final Bryan Danielson shows on the East Coast (see photo above; Paul has the dark beard). He was a good, genuine guy. His moral compass was set right. He was selfless. And on October 1st, 2011, his heart stopped functioning the way it should have and he went to a better place.

It has taken me a while to put words to this reflection because of a number of reasons. Why did this happen? Why am I so angry? Why do we have to suffer loss? How can I lose a second close person to me in just 7 months, my Dad having passed away in March?

I grieve the most for his wife Julie, his kids and his friends. Paul would not want me to. He is fulfilling a higher purpose that God wants him to elsewhere. I am greatful for the times I shared with him, for his friendship and his blessing on my life. I only hope that I was able to return that in some way to him. Paul's passing has shined greater perspective on both my immediate life and the way I view many relationships. I will always cherish the memories that we shared earlier this year in Atlanta during WrestleMania weekend. My trip to the airport on my way home was shared with Paul. He was as gracious as always and I struggle now with the vision that will remain of him heading to an opposite terminal with his luggage rolling behind him.

For the many friends, including Jim, that Paul shared with me, we will honor him and his memory when we gather. I will remember him because of ingrained memories from great times. I will honor him with silence and a glass raised often.

RIP Paul Kurtzman

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A tribute to my friend, Paul Kurtzman

Tom and I were both deeply saddened this weekend to learn of the sudden death of our dear friend, Paul Kurtzman (Paul is on the left in the picture above, which was taken as he and our friend Larry joined me at a Cubs spring training game in the spring of 2010).  Paul was a great wrestling fan (and for a short time, even a worker), but more than that, to both Tom and I, Paul was a great friend. Tom will be here later with his own thoughts on Paul, but I wanted to write up my feelings as well as we both process this loss.

Paul was one of those guys who when I was going to an event, and I heard Paul would be there as well, I genuinely got more excited for the event, because the chance to hang out with him was that important to me.  A number of us just spent a week together in Las Vegas a month ago, and Paul was a late addition to that group, but I remember when I saw he was coming, I had a feeling of such happiness that I would get to see my friend, and get to introduce my fiancé to him as well, who was on the trip as well.  As my fiancé Katie and I spent time with him in Las Vegas, she became quickly fond of him as well, and we were so looking forward to having him here when we get married next fall.  We are so sad that he won’t physically be with us, but know he’ll be looking down with that great big smile of his. 

If you are one of the lucky ones who knew Paul, you know how much this loss hurts.  If you didn’t know Paul, think of the kindest, most genuine person you know.  That was Paul, and then some.  I can’t say enough good things about him, and as I try to type them, it all seems too cliché for how much I cared for him, and I know he did for me as well, so, I will leave it with these thoughts.

Paul leaves behind a loving wife, 3 sons, 1 daughter, a grandchild, and a host of friends and family who will miss his laughter, his smile, and his wisdom. 

Paul, selfishly, I want you back here with us.  There isn’t much in this world right now that I want more.  But I know you are in a better place, and I know I will see you again.  Rest in peace my friend, you will be deeply missed.  You already are.