Mana’o Radio regrets to inform our listeners and supporters that our friend and mentor, Barry Shannon, the co-founder of Mana’o Radio, passed away peacefully Saturday, April 7th. We are gladdened by his life and works far more than we are saddened by his passing. He left the earth a better place than it was before. He was an inspiration to us all.
A big benefit concert will be held soon, in Barry’s memory, to help ensure that Mana’o Radio lives on. Details will be coming soon.
Kathy Collins wishes to extend her heartfelt gratitude to the many friends who have helped her with their prayers, kind thoughts and tributes to Barry in this difficult time.
Please do not call Mana’o Radio air personnel. Further information will be posted here on this website as soon as it becomes available. Thank you for your many expressions of comfort and offers of help. We will be letting you know what you can do to help as soon as we can.
The Mana’o Radio ‘Ohana
Kathy Collins’ E-mails
The following is a condensation of Kathy Collins’ e-mails of the last week or so. Hopefully this will answer some of the questions that Barry’s many friends and loved ones have had.�
|Barry and I came to Phoenix for a few Tita shows and a family vacation. The night before we were to return to our respective homes, my son drove us to the ER because Barry was having excruciating pain in his left leg. That was 9 PM Sunday 3/25. Three hours later he was incoherent and by 2 AM, drifting in and out of consciousness. He had multiple blood clots in his leg, more suspected in heart and brain. Liver and kidneys were failing; his heart disease had become much worse; he had developed serious blockage on the left side; white blood count elevated; pneumonia in one lung and unidentified spots in the other. Blood pressure was dangerously low, pulse incredibly high, and he had suffered a heart attack. They transferred him to Mesa General Hospital immediately, where they specialize in serious cardiac care and have state of the art surgical facilities. . . Dr. Wall (who is a superb doctor and very attentive and caring) has been in to check on us several times a day. . . He truly cares about Barry, his mental state and spirit as well as his body. I’m equally impressed with the ICU nursing staff and techs.
Mahalo for your wonderful, inspiring expressions of love and support. . . Barry is now on the greatest adventure of his life, and so far the journey has been gentle and sweet. . . I have read every single one of your messages to him and told him about each phone call. I am sure they play a large role in his comfort. I know they have in mine.
Many of you have asked how I’m able to cope so well with this. It’s because Barry has been preparing me for this, ever since he could feel his heart condition worsening several months ago. And because I was privileged to share in my father’s final months, learning from my mom’s example, real courage and strength; and from my father, how truly peaceful and beautiful the passage can be.
Saturday, April 7, 2007 “Barry has left the building” His passage, at 3:46 AZ time, was peaceful and gentle. All of the tubes and machines had been removed. His eyes had been open for several hours, but were not seeing anything in the tiny ICU room. When his heart began to race and his breaths started to come in a strange rhythm of pauses and deep gasps, I stopped reading your beautiful e-mails to him and bent over the bed to rest my head next to his. His head was turned to the left so our foreheads and noses could touch, and I told him how smoothly the Mana’o Radio crew was sailing the ship in our absence. . . I told him how proud I was of him and the volunteer staff he had trained so well. I assured him that he was leaving a legacy that would brighten the lives of Mauians and listeners worldwide, long after I and the last of our current staff would join him in the adventure on which he was about to embark. I talked to him nonstop for an hour – no dead air! – about the many lessons he had taught me and the ones he was about to learn. I asked him if it really did feel like flying, as Dorothy had said, or whether he was riding the slow motion roller coaster my dad described in his own final hours, with colors so deep and rich, he could actually touch them. I asked whether he had heard Willy in the twilight or seen the healer Gill sent to visit him. And I told him over and over how deeply he is loved, how much he will be missed, and how happy I was that he was finally getting the peaceful rest that had eluded him for the past several months.Most of you probably didn’t realize how his body had betrayed him recently, frustrating him by not allowing him enough oxygen to do the things he loved: hiking, martial arts, weight lifting, climbing the daunting Mana’o staircase two or three stairs at a time. He knew this day was coming and he had been telling me, from the day his heart disease was diagnosed, that he was better prepared for death than for life as an invalid. He wasn’t depressed, just realistic, determined to live – and leave – on his own terms. He was sincerely grateful for the good health, good friends, and good times he had enjoyed for so many years, more than he thought he deserved.About ten minutes before he drew his last breath, his glazed eyes suddenly focused on mine and he blinked a couple of times. I told him it was time to go and thanked him for preparing me for the moment. I told him that the journey would be beautiful, that HE was beautiful, and that my life would also be beautiful because he would continue to share it with me, minus that “bag of skin” (one of his favorite phrases) to hold him back.
And so my favorite DJ has gone to the Great Studio in the Sky. . . My deepest gratitude to each and every one of you, for your comforting and inspiring messages throughout this ordeal. Thank you for showering so much love on my love.
Me ke aloha pumehana,