RIP Eric Lowen
I remember the first time I met Eric Lowen. It must have been at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival back in 2005. He was getting around the muddy fields pretty well back then, just using a cane. But we all knew what was coming. He had told us, thousands of fans sitting on a hill in front of the Main Stage. Eric Lowen had been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease.
Over the coming years, we watched as it progressed; the wheelchair, his difficulty playing the guitar, and then he stopped trying to make it through the mud. His long time songwriting partner, Dan Navarro still came to Falcon Ridge. He'd call up Eric on his cellphone and Eric would great his friends and fans from afar.
Eric confronted ALS the way any great music or great artist confronts a challenge and worked hard in the battle against ALS as exemplified in the video, Learning to Fall
Last night, Dan posted on his Facebook page,
At 5:13 pm Pacific time today, March 23, 2012, Eric Lowen peacefully ended his nine-year standoff with ALS (aka Lou Gehrig's Disease), surrounded by family and awash in love, gratitude and beautiful music. We all appreciate the support and well wishes that have come his way these many years, and will always hold dear the shining example he was, and still is, to us all.
I've written blog posts about family members who have passed on, and while Eric is not blood family, he's family in another sense. He is part of the family of people who love music, get together at places like Falcon Ridge, and work towards making the world a better place.
He's part of the family that sings with Dave Carter,
This is my home, this is my only home
This is the only sacred ground that I have ever known
And should I stray in the dark night alone
Rock me goddess in the gentle arms of eden
Eric is now visiting Dave in the gentle arms of eden, and probably stopping off at the rock and roll heaven as well. The words of one of the most popular songs he and Dan wrote comes to mind,
Close your eyes and try to sleep now
Close your eyes and try to dream…
we belong to the light
We belong to the thunder
We belong to the sound of the words
We've both fallen under…
We belong together