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December 2004

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Comments

Pat Gundry

Thank you, Susan. Thank you for sharing the information that so many of us wanted to know. I know it was painful to write, and oh so painful to experience. You are a true friend to Thomas and his memory. He was lucky to know you.

Chris Hutchinson

Pat said it better than I could. And I feel lucky that you connected me to Thomas. Thanks, Susan.

Syl Leduc

Susan, thank you for answering the unasked question of what happened that day. My heart goes out to you.

Andy Wibbels

Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing such a powerful and candid account of Thomas's passing. Frustrating, aggravating and ultimately ennobling... I am stilled.

ken winston caine

Susan, I've wondered and wondered and wondered about Thomas's last day and last moments. Now I'm haunted with the truth. It was just another day. And his heart went bad. And he realized it just a little too late.

My life hasn't been nearly as interesting or exciting since he's been gone. And I'm sure there are thousands of others who would say that.

Beyond that, I've wondered and wondered about you, and what you're up to. We wrote once after you disappeared from coachville. So glad to discover your blog. I've missed your voice and missed your words.

David Stocum

Susan,

When I read this last evening I was near tears.

Again, your gift for honesty and making an intimate connection has shone through. Thank you so much for sharing.

I am so glad that at this special moment your voice has returned to my life.

mark

I worked in Cardiac Rehabilitation for 7 years and I know this probably won't change your view instantly but, as an expert, there was nothing you could have done to change that day.

t reminded me of many of my clients: headstrong.

You loved him and it's typical to run that wheel in your situation. It gets easier, eventually. One day you will see a photo of or think of him and "that feeling" will be different and you might find a smile on your face.

Take your time and know there are folk who get it.

Heidi Wendell

Dear Susan,
(Tears.)
I echo all of the above. It helps to know... thank you so much for sharing. I'm very sorry that the events leading up to t's death were so scary and painful for both of you. Life (and death) certainly isn't always as neat and tidy as most of us would prefer it to be.

I have great compassion and empathy for the losses, etc. you have been experiencing. I, too, have wondered about you... where you were, what you were doing, and how you were doing. It's good to know about you too.

I am very glad that t had you and you had him as a great friend... for some reason there is comfort in knowing that piece. Being the one left behind can be such a big adjustment, and such a long process… I know that pain.

For some reason, I felt a connection to t... from when I met him on-line and then in some of his teleclasses while he was living in his RV in Missoula, MT (I live only 100 mi.away). His path crossed mine at a critical point in my life, and he was very generous to me.

I was grateful to finally meet him in person at the first Vegas conference. It was an unusual moment when he was alone... we both happened to be in the near deserted hall at the same time.

Synchronicity...I believe that moment was meant to happen. It was important for me to look deep into his eyes, heart and soul and honor him with gratitude. I could tell by his eyes that his spirit “Got it” the very deep, heartfelt message from my spirit to his. Yet, I have no idea how that encounter was perceived on the cognitive level.

This story I share just to add to the other 1000’s of us who were touched (at many levels) by t. After he died, I looked up some astrology info based on our birth dates... then, I understood more about the connection. I would imagine that his & yours would be telling as well.

Thank you for being you, Susan… and sharing of youself and those last moments with t with me/us.

Best,
Heidi

PS
Something that you may find of interest regarding how t used his creative energy. You spoke of t's "modus operandi' as being "full speed ahead then recoup/hide under a rock. Repeat." My guess it that this was t's "natural" energy style. There is an assessment called the PROSCAN that helped me to understand myself in that respect.

According to the PROSCAN, there are basically three energy styles (people usually have their natural style, and an alternative/adapted style). 1) THRUST- a rocket launch style. A highly inner directed, self-starting and intense energy. Expends energy faster that it can be maintained; thus, the crash/down time where the energy level gets realigned with the capacity. 2) ALLEGIANCE - A dependability or maintanance style. A carry through capacity that is often from an outer directed source. 3) STENACITY - continually steady, the plodders.(They often see thrusters as chaotic. Some people mislabel "thrusters" as manic-depressive as a way to "put them in a box").

What do you think of these thoughts on energy types?

Barry Zweibel

Having ready your post, I now sit here in front of my computer ... quietly ... sadly ... wondering, "What IS it I want Susan to know?" ...

... but there are no right words ... there are no satisfying answers ...

... so I continue to sit ... holding this space ... for you.

Rob

Thanks for sharing this with us.

anna dargitz

That evening is etched in my mind too. Coming home from facilitating A Course in Miracles, of all things, and hitting the message machine to find your shaky voice speaking the unspeakable. I said to Darryl...Could you even imagine Thomas dying? No way. Could not let that in. Then as I reached to return your call, the phone rang. And there you were. The rest is a blur except calling Andrea, on a tearful conference call and each of us getting flight reservations ASAP. Don't leave Susan alone, went through my mind.


What strikes me the most of this entire year, was the strength and determination Susan and Andrea had to continue Thomas' legacy...to keep Coachville SOC going with the same innovation, sincerity, unconventional connectedness, marketing savvy and entrepreneurial zeal that were the cornerstones of Thomas' vision. You got up every day and did your jobs even better than before...if that were even possible. You actually traveled abroad to do the live events that were promised the members. You traveled constantly over the next several months. Andrea steped up her efforts and made sure that the Certified Mentor Coach Program was launched on THE DAY that it was scheduled.

No one can know the heart and soul that was poured into the following months by the two who truly inherited Thomas Leonards mind, heart and soul. I only wish you had been honored for who you were to Thomas and Coachville, by Coachville, in a way more fitting than just having you disappear. This was not right.

I am honored to have known Thomas, as I've said publicly many times. AND, I'm equally blessed and honored to know you two, Susan Austin and Andrea Lee, for the inspiration and wisdom that you so generously toss about you. For the heart and soul that makes working with you both such a joy...evey single day.

Steve Davis

Thanks Susan for your courage to share those intimate memories on that dark day.

It was helpful for me to hear this to bring closure to that event as I'm sure is true for many others.

I hope to reconnect with you again in some way in the future.

warmest,
steve

Matt Perelstein

Hi Susan:

Thanks for sharing... I was wondering too, what happened... very sad, indeed, especially for you.

I'm sorry you had to go thru all this.
I'm sorry you are left with guilt and pain.
I'm sorry you had to be the one.

Please know that others support you, and that you are doing what you can to keep Thomas' memory, and many lessons, alive and kicking.

Please know that we support you and encourage you to learn what you can from this, and go on... continuing to make a difference in lives.

Please know that at least one other person (me) will try to learn from this, too, as I probably would have handled it the same way he did ("no doctors, I'm fine. It'll pass")

Thanks for being who you are, sharing with us, and continuing to lead us (coaches, caring professionals, followers of Thomas).

Thanks for your courage to press on and not give up.

Thanks... and as Thomas would say, My best.

- Matt@2GetHelp.com


Janet Spittler

Susan;
Many Great Blessings and Doves of Peace to You. You respected t's wishes and now have to deal with the aftermath of living on and making sense of it all. I am greateful for you giving such remarkable detail of the last expressions and moments in that day. I am happy to hear you are back again to share and express your most marvelous self with us. I miss you on the calls, the live events and hope to find you somewhere else to lend your wisdom to us coaches wondering to wander in the right direction. I am greateful to have met you and t at live events in Boston and PA and will never forget the Musing and Awareness you presented to those present. May you move with Joy and great HONOR to be a part of one's passing to the next level. It is a gift for you to have brought him to the portal and now you have many new bridges to cross with his spirit beside you. I have helped a few to graduate to the next level and hope you can understand another perspective.

Many Blessings, Peace, Joy;

Janet

Julia Stewart

Hey Susan - What a moving and dramatic account. I can't imagine how traumatic everything has been for you. You've performed gargantuan tasks in this past year. I hope you've healed enough to move forward on new, joyful projects full of the blessings you've received from having known Thomas. You've got great work ahead of you! I can't wait to see what you do in the future! much love, Julia

Julia Ferguson

Dear One,

My heart is racing! I had so many why questions come up when I was reading it. Probably a lot of the same why questions you have asked yourself and others will ask themselves after reading this as well.

Today all those why questions don't matter. What matters is that with what you and everyone else knew, you did the best you could with what you had at the time.

To me it was a sad sad loss. No mamby pamby sugar coated everything for a reason cliche can erase that for me. Thomas died, maybe he didn't have to then, that sucked and what a loss.

Since then I too think of you often. Perhaps because while I loved having email correspondance with t, I always felt connected to you in person. To me his magic, genuis and mystery and uniqueness really came through in his short email blubs and his "long winded" thought put out in his R & D emails.

Not going for an eloquent response here - just wanting you to know that for me - you and t were very much a team - a joint effort that complimented each other.

I hope that what continues to come next for you brings you joy and creativity and companionship.

Something tells me that wherever you go in this world, you have a HUGE group of people rooting for you, supporting you, watching your back.

If you ever find yourself in Orange, CA, you always have a place to stay.

Holding you in a happy place,

Julia

Katherine G. MacRae

Susan;

So here you are.

Funny, whenever I think of Thomas Leonard, I always also think of you. I knew you were both deeply connected with each other from the first time I heard your voice on one of his teleclasses.

I remember Thomas saying that if he died right now that would be OK, because he had already lived 5 or 6 lives. That memory brings me some comfort and I hope it will bring you some comfort too.

Loraine Powell

writing this must have taken so much courage. thank you. honestly. *hugs*

Jessie Hipolit

Susan,
What a tender expression of your friendship with Thomas -- and the day it crashed. You were with him all the way, matching his tone, meeting each request, honoring his boundaries, being a true companion. And, he knew you were on your way...

When I think of who you were and are and all you've been through, I know Thomas would be as proud of you as we all are. You are a continuous blessing!
God is surely with you as you press on through the sorrow, through the changes, and into the sunlight.
Peace,
Jessie

michelle_e_corey

This is the first thing that I have read since becoming a member of this site. I was invited by Ms. Stewart, because I am considering becoming a coach myself. I am so impressed with the support among the coaches. When Susan's tragedy struck, her first reaction was to call HER coach. Anna was there for her, like a friend would be, but with a firm, convincing decision that they would get Susan through this. Congratulations, Susan and Anna. I did not know Thomas, but you two struck me as such beautiful coaches that I feel like Thomas must have been very special as well. Thanks for allowing me to read this, and learn. Thank you, Ms. Stewart.

~Michelle

Susanna de Beer

Thanks Susan for sharing this event in your life that you could have easily kept to yourself. I will never forget receiving that news in email, and I was honestly shocked. Just joined Coachville at the time, now SOC studedent, and love his visions and concepts that are presented. You, and your co-workers have done a fantastic job keeping up his legacy to the fullest, he is proud.

I get the feeling that he shared a lot with you and his closest staff/friends, and this is what keep Coachville growing and improving at such a fast pace.

Thanks again, and let the new joys of life lift you spirits day to day.

Paul Dennis

Susan,

Thank you for illuminating the last page in the life of T. It was an insight I and many others needed to share.

I met you both in London in October 2002. Like most, I came away with confirmation that the promise was real and stimulated by the opportunity to create a future connection with T's incredible life force. The possibilities for new innovations, new insights, new horizons!

A handshake and a brief conversation was all there would ever be on a person to person level. I wasted five months of possible access to T while I concentrated on my consultancy, waiting to sort things out before renewing any contact again.

The shock of his death had a deep impact on me, quite unreal. This was soon echoed around the world as others revealed the pain felt by their own severed personal connection.

It must have been amazing to be abe to share the times you did,
being a close friend of this incredible human being.

I'm sure he will be happy to see you reaching out through this blog, and excited about all the new paths you are crossing outside of Coachville.

It's great to connect with you.

Peter S. Mizla

I met Thomas at a gay bath in Providence Rhode Island in January 1997- nice man, but not really approachable. Seemed detached or in the closet regarding being gay.


I did e mail him at the turn of the century- or shortly there after.

He was pleasant-but not too friendly.
Thomas had so much to offer to the gay community- but remained very closeted.

He is at peace now-

Peter in Connecticut

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Katherine Gotshall English

Today - August 1, 2007 at 11:41 am EST
I type in Thomas Leonard and let google
search. Reading your words on the
day after the birthday of Thomas
might seem like an odd way to pay
tribute to such a deeply missed soul.
Thank you for sharing this very
important piece of the puzzle of his
life story.
The name - Thomas Leonard - continues
to be spoken outloud and thought of in
silence daily by people across the
globe.
I think he is continuing to speak to
many. You gave Thomas friendship and
for this I am grateful. I hope you
are peaceful today.
Thank you, k


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