Mikey Leblanc graces us with his Best Greatest Story Ever. As he remembers being by his friend Jason “J2” Rasmus’s side as he passed on May 26th, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“It’s happening. Get here if you can.” That was the message I received while I was travelling in Europe from a friend. One of my best friends, Jason “J2” Rasmus, was reaching his final moments in this lifetime.

That same person handed J2 their phone, and we caught up for about a minute. I told J2 I was in Europe and I was going to try to get back to see him and he said, “I’ll wait.”

I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it back to the U.S. before he passed. So, I proceeded to write him a letter. I sent it to Justin Benne, a trusted friend, to read it to him. I chose Justin because I knew he would read it with his full heart. It is not a problem for Justin to share emotion in the presence of others. He was also one of J2’s best friends. Justin read my letter and I know he did it well.

J2, Denver, Colorado, 2003 [o] Andy Wright

I arrived back from Europe on Sunday evening and headed straight from the airport to the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah. J2 was there surrounded by just his family members, his wife, and a few close friends.

The mood in the room was quiet. This Cancer Institute was very nicely set up. The rooms didn’t have that sterile shiny bright light medical feel that imposes scary and hopeless. The room had dark wood, nice carpet, and comfy furniture. The lights were dim and J2 was lying on his back in bed. His family was sitting around him. It was an odd contrast to see someone I’d known to have so much presence and energy, lying there pale white, with skeleton features and sunken eyes.

I said a few quick greetings to the people there, but mostly was drawn straight to J2. My fear came up, but I knew this was “it.” So, I pushed past my fears, grabbed his hand with my left, and I stroked his hair and forehead with my right. I gave him a kiss on his forehead, and told him, “I made it.”

For the next few minutes, everybody in the room seemed to be nervously waiting. I’m sure they all knew that death was imminent. We made some nervous comments back and forth to one another but again I was drawn into what was most important for me to do at that moment. I leaned into J2’s ear and whispered. “It’s OK to go. We love you. You can go now.”

After about 10 minutes, we had some light chatter happening between all of us. I looked over at J2, and I asked everyone to be quiet. J2 had passed. Everyone left the room and I stayed, which gave me the opportunity to read him an excerpt that I had translated into more common terms from the Tibetan Book of the Dead. It’s a section of the book you read to the dying and again to the newly dead on how to pass away and not enter undesired realms that we pass through when dying. Essentially I told him to “look for the white light” (or clear light) and avoid all other colours and realms. J2 wasn’t likely a believer of anything and neither am I. But, he loved love and so do I. White clear light is the colour of love. And so, it felt true to me to read him this and offer help for a safe passage into whatever is next, if I could.

Sometimes you meet people that are more than friends, and family just isn’t the right word either. J2 and I shared so many different experiences and had a very direct relationship with no holds barred. It’s been about three years now and I speak to J2 almost every day. He gives me some hilarious advice, makes me laugh at myself, and encourages me to do what I want. I don’t know if I believe I am speaking with him or not. What I have experienced as true though, is when people die, they stay alive because of our love. That’s what I’ve learned from my greatest story ever.—Mikey Leblanc

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