Today marks the 2 year anniversary of the day that Ian Wood left us after a valiant battle against the lung cancer called mesothelioma.
He was high-spirited and laughing till the end, in his cynical way.
We used to forget his birthday because it fell slap bang in the middle of the winter holidays every year. In 2006, he was backpacking solo around Europe and updated his Myspace blog (!!) with these words:
“It was my birthday, and all of my friends forgot – again.”
It’s ironic that now we all remember his death-day, or “new-birth” day into the fun realms of the Universe. AND Facebook doesn’t even send us a reminder.
People say RIP, which means ‘rest in peace’ but, Ian – Woody, Eeny, Naaidoow… I want to take that RIP and edit it to ‘rip’ as in… Rip it up out there. Don’t chill and be in peace watching TV series in the cave… I’m sure you are astral travelling and learning infinite knowledge – Love it. Rip it up.
In memory – here is the transcript of the Eulogy I wrote for his memorial service in 2009:
My friendship with Ian all started with Avarice. Which, given that it’s the biblical term for ‘greed’, might sound
somewhat suspect. And it’s ironic that such a word would symbolise the start of a friendship that would in fact embody everything contrary to that word’s meaning.
Avarice was the topic for the first film that we were assigned at UCT. One of the 7 deadly sins. I was a 20 year old girl who happened to be brave enough to take on the terrible duo of Ian and Adrian… or Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum as the rest of the film class affectionately referred to them)
And that was when my life changed.
It was then that i was first introduced to the passion, intellect and many colours of little Woody’s vibrant personality. It was then that I acquired two of the best friends a girl could ever hope to have. It was then that the Universe changed my life forever.
By 2004 Ian, Adrian and I made our home in Greenpoint, Cape Town. We called ourselves “the cool-group” – for obvious reasons. (hehe)
I got to see so many colours of that boy over the next 2 plus years of living together, colours which have enhanced the pallette of my life forever and I am so grateful that I was lucky enough to get to know him during his short but influential time on this plane of existance.
Ian was the smartest and wittiest guy who always had razor-sharp comebacks and ascorbic sarcasm. He seemed emotionally untouchable and rolled his eyes at sentimental movies.
But the second you needed him …. whenever my heart got broken or the world was mean to me, Ian would switch
over to the most sensitve and sentimental guy who truely cared and always knew what to say.
He was loyal to a fault with his friendships and truely loved all of them. Im sure most of you are at this memorial today, so you know what I mean when I say that.
Woody had the most contagious laugh when something really amused him — and given his slightly sadistic nature things that amused him could be someone hurting themselves or a granny falling over in the street — but usually it was his friends. His eyes would light up and he would retell stories of parties or highschool or just debate amusing anecdotes together (like what the weather reporter on Mars would sound like, – Welcome to Mars Radio! It’s a hot day outside – because we have no water on our planet! Today’s forecast, Effing hot… !)
There were more nights than I can count where we stayed up ’till 3am – stone cold sober – laughing togther until the neighbours would pound on the ceiling to hush us up.
Ian, Naidoow, Plank. So many good memories, so much to say. I know I’m famous for talking too much and Ian is rolling his eyes at me where-ever he is now because I’m hitting capacity. So, in closing I will say that my life started when Ian became my best friend.
I have never had more fun than those years of living together. I watched him work his way valiantly (with alot of
grumbling) through the bottom dredges of the film world until he reached the hard earned level of respect. I watched him eat entire bottles of pickles in one sitting. I watched him text sms’s with impressive speed whilst never once looking at his phone. I watched him meticulously label all of his food so that we didn’t eat it. I watched the passion in his eyes when he spoke about film-making or writing or the world that interested him. I watched that flicker in his eye the day he first came home after meeting Kathleen… and then I watched him fall in love with the most wonderful girl he could have found.
I wish with all my heart that I could be there today, to be with you all – to hear your stories of ian. To remember him together.
But I’m here in Korea, sending you all my love. Just sitting here, thanking the Universe for the time that it gave me to know Mr. Wood. One of the best friends a person could wish for.
To quote Peter Pan: “To die would be an awfully great adventure.”
And as much as we miss him, he’s the first one to get to see what’s out there and I know he’ll be there waiting for us, to catch us on the flipside.
See ya then, “Buddeeeee.”
Angel (or as Ian called me – Dongle)
*Parallel Universe High-Five*