I am Jon Swift’s Mom and I guess I’m going to OUT him. He was Al Weisel, my beloved son. Al was on his way to his father’s funeral in VA when he suffered 2 aortic aneurysms, a leaky aortic valve and an aortic artery dissection from his heart to his pelvis. He had 3 major surgeries within 24 hours and sometime during those surgeries also suffered a severe stroke. We, his 2 sisters, his brother, his partner and his best friend since he was 9 years old were with him as he took his last breath. We have all lost a shining start who warmed our hearts, tormented us and made us laugh as he giggled at our pulling something over on us. He passed away on February 27, 2010. My beloved child will live on in so many hearts. I miss him more than I can say.
I knew Al by reputation as sort of the blogosphere’s answer to Stephen Colbert. His “Jon Swift” character was a satire of what he saw as the right wing, and his tagline was: “I am a reasonable conservative who likes to write about politics and culture. Since the media is biased I get all my news from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Jay Leno monologues.” Occasionally he’d link to something of mine he disapproved of, in the guise of approving of it. We were both nominated for a Best Humor Blog award in 2008, at which time I semi-jokingly made a failed run at his 2nd-place status. Which seems even sillier now than it did then. But whatever our differences, he was a good writer and was very well respected by his peers.
My condolences go out to his family and friends. He passed away far too young, and to lose both father and son at once must be devastating.
If you’d like to leave a remembrance, you can join the Friends of Al Weisel, Unite! group on Facebook.
Rest in peace, Al.