Monday, March 1, 2010

Paul E. Serchia - Feb 5, 1958 to March 1, 2010

I'm sorry to have to post this, but Paul passed away peacefully this morning.
I want to thank everyone for all your support. I've been a close friend to him since 1994, and for those of you who only know him from the words in this blog, please believe me when I tell you they are an accurate representation of Paul. He fought this disease the same way he lived with HIV/AIDS, with humor, grace an admirable strength.

Please continue to post your thoughts and memories of Paul here. This blog will live on. It is the wish of myself, his family and his friends that this blog gets published some day. These words need to be shared.

Please feel free to contact me if you want me to relay any information regarding services for Paul. godscomic (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

Thanks again for keeping Paul in your thoughts and prayers. It really made him feel good when he knew he reached someone with his words.

Dean Micheli


  1. Indeed hard words to read, but thank goodness our dear, sweet Paul is finally out of pain. Rest in peace my friend.

  2. I'm filled, once again, with the extraordinary love that this man gave so freely. May flights of angels send thee to thy rest.

  3. Paul you have touch so many and taught me so much... your actions and lessons have left the world a better place. I will miss you forever and remember the wonderful times we shared on two wheels.

  4. To all of Paul's close friends and relatives:
    I only knew Paul peripherally, but I followed his blog avidly. You have lost a good man.

    Jude Schneider

  5. Paul showed such grace along with such humor during this long ordeal. I worked with Paul for 3 years and was amazed that he would go to chemo and then come to work because he didn't want to let anyone down. His strength was one for the ages. Rest in peace my friend and know that you have left your mark on all those who have had the privilege of kwowing you.

    Chuck Sawyer

  6. RIP Paul.
    I first met you when I started working here at APLA in 2001. I was fresh out of college and you always had a smile. It was a pleasure working with you until you left APLA and through the years in which you worked with the Benefits & Work Services program.

    You will be missed.

    To his family, friends and colleagues my most heart-felt condolences.

    Jose Burgos

  7. My heart is so sad.
    Paul, you left this world a better place.
    To Paul's family and friends I am so sorry for your loss and I share in your sorrow.

  8. I am so very sorry to hear that Paul has passed away.

    I met Paul only once -- in fact, I learned of his blog after the death of another colleague -- but I was touched by how he navigated the past year. He was clearly a kind, loving, and creative (not to mention hilarious) man, so his spirit will be deeply missed. Paul's revelations over the past year have given me a great deal of comfort whenever I thought about my own mother's battle with cancer.

    Paul handled his ordeal with grace and grit, and I'm honored to have met him. Please know that he touched even those he barely knew.

    Lyn Lord

  9. Dina KancepolskyMarch 1, 2010 at 3:22 PM

    Rest in peace Paul, no more fight, you are now with the angels.
    Your spirit will live forever and will guide many people living with AIDS.
    To his family and friends, my most sincere condolences.

  10. Dean, you turned me on to this blog just a few months ago, but I got what a fighter Paul was. I'm so sorry for your loss, maybe they can turn his story into a screenplay, it would be good to see it come to life. Love to you Dean!

  11. I was so sad today to hear the news of Paul's passing, but find comfort that he is in eternal rest . . God Bless and RIP Paul.

    My sympathy to all Paul's friends and family.

    Diane Allweiler

  12. Paul was an inspiration to so many of us. Not only did he dedicate so much of his life to making a difference in the fight against AIDS, but he was a much appreciated cyclist and role model on the AIDS/LifeCycle. My thoughts go out to Paul's close friends and family. I know he'll be with us in spirit on this year's ALC!
    Lorri L. Jean, CEO
    L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center

  13. I have honestly learned so very much of the human journey from Paul's words of honestly and moral courage. What grace.

    2,000 years ago the poet Sophocles wrote, "One must wait until dark to see how splendid the day has been". Looking back with love to the life of Paul,the day has indeed been splendid.

    RIP, sweet boy. Rest in Peace.



  14. My sweet Paul...I now dedicate my AIDS/LifeCycle 9 to the memory of your amazing life and now your legacy. I am sure it will be you when I feel the wind at my back and the sun on my face. Enjoy your peace now...I will miss you.

  15. I've been thinking about this poem all day.

    Theodore Roethke

    In purest song one plays the constant fool
    As changes shimmer in the inner eye.
    I stare and stare into a deepening pool
    And tell myself my image cannot die.
    I love myself: that’s my one constancy.
    Oh, to be something else, yet still to be!

    Sweet Christ, rejoice in my infirmity;
    There’s little left I care to call my own.
    Today they drained the fluid from a knee
    And pumped a shoulder full of cortisone;
    Thus I conform to my divinity
    By dying inward, like an aging tree.

    The instant ages on the living eye;
    Light on its rounds, a pure extreme of light
    Breaks on me as my meager flesh breaks down—
    The soul delights in that extremity.
    Blessed the meek; they shall inherit wrath;
    I’m son and father of my only death.

    A mind too active is no mind at all;
    The deep eye sees the shimmer on the stone;
    The eternal seeks, and finds, the temporal,
    The change from dark to light of the slow moon,
    Dead to myself, and all I hold most dear,
    I move beyond the reach of wind and fire.

    Deep in the greens of summer sing the lives
    I’ve come to love. A vireo whets its bill.
    The great day balances upon the leaves;
    My ears still hear the bird when all is still;
    My soul is still my soul, and still the Son,
    And knowing this, I am not yet undone.

    Things without hands take hands: there is no choice,—
    Eternity’s not easily come by.
    When opposites come suddenly in place,
    I teach my eyes to hear, my ears to see
    How body from spirit slowly does unwind
    Until we are pure spirit at the end.

  16. I knew Paul pretty well for a short time in the late 80's. A funny and sweet man. As these things go, we lost each other in the currents of life and the stresses of existence. I'm so sorry to read that he is gone.

  17. I am touched today of the comments made by all of you who have been touched by Paul in some way or another. The entire family appreciates all of your thoughts and prayers. For those interested, the services will be held at:

    Church of the Blessed Sacrament
    6657 Sunset Blvd
    Hollywood, CA 90028

    Thursday March 4, 2010
    9:00 am to 10:30 am

    "Imagine all the people, living life in peace"
    John Lennon

    Paul is at peace and with Mom

    Love you Paul

    Mike (the brother)

  18. Paul - As if it wasn't enough to leave the lasting legacy that was Positive Living (I still hear people talk about it as the most relavent publication from LA for People with HIV in LA)you left us this inspirational blog as an example of how to live and, finally, die, with humor, dignity and grace. You can't have more success in life than to profoundly positively effect others. Cheers to a life lived with success!

  19. Rest in Peace, Paul. Your words will live on forever as an incredible gift to the rest of us.

    To Paul's family, please accept my deepest sympathy along with my sincere thanks for sharing your final journey with Paul.


  20. I just hope my cousin Paul realized all the friends he had ....and thank you to all of you for being there for him..... he was such a positive influence on so many of us....we will miss you, Paul E.

    Mary K.

  21. This evening the West Hollywood City Council adjourned in Paul's memory.

  22. I know Paul wanted to ride ALC this year-- and he wil be riding with many of us.

  23. I am lost for words...I've been lurking Paul's blog for a number of years, I accidentally found it while researching the AIDS/Lifecycle ride. Paul's wit and humor especially through his diagonsis of cancer this past year made me believe he'd live forever. While I've never met him, his words were that of a friend. Rest in Peace Paul.

  24. I also am a lurker who was moved and inspired by Paul's blog. If I ever have to battle a serious illness, I will think of Paul and hope that I have the strength, sense of humor and will that he showed.

  25. My warmest thoughts and wishes to all of Paul's loved ones. We have lost one of the great, tender souls, but it is comforting to know that he had such a positive influence in the world and that so many people appreciated this truly special person. I worked with Paul almost 30 years ago at B. Dalton Booksellers in the Topanga Plaza and his unique wit and gentle manner have always been an inspiration to me. We shared a love (and dare I say fanaticism) for the Rolling Stones and I am so thankful for that Connection. Paul, I will miss you but your memory Shines a Light in this girl's heart! Love, Jordana

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  28. Memorial information for Paul -
    Services will be held on Thursday, March 4 from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
    at: Church of the Blessed Sacrament
    6657 Sunset Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90028

    In lieu of flowers, Paul has requested a trust fund be established to assist indigent persons with HIV/AIDS.
    Donations can be made to:
    The Paul Serchia Fund, c/o Positive Pedalers
    345 West 6th Street A
    Tustin, CA 92780

  29. Paul E will be so missed by so many so often. He was such a blessing in our lives, and will always be in our hearts.. God Bless you, Paul E, you are so loved...AMA (the aunt)

  30. My condolences to the family of Paul. His impact in this life has touched many in so many positive ways. His life continues in our hearts and our actions each and every day.

  31. This was very hard to read. I hadn't seen Paul in many years, but I will always remember his kindness, decency and humor. If folks will indulge me, I feel like sharing the lyrics of a not-too-well-known song by another guy named Paul (the one who was in the Beatles once), that were a great comfort to me when my father died almost 3 years ago:

    The End Of The End

    At the end of the end
    It's the start of a journey
    To a much better place
    And this wasn't bad
    So a much better place
    would have to be special
    No need to be sad

    On the day that I die I'd like jokes to be told
    And stories of old to be rolled out like carpets
    That children have played on
    And laid on while listening to stories of old

    At the end of the end
    It's the start of a journey
    To a much better place
    And a much better place
    Would have to be special
    No reason to cry

    On the day that I die I'd like bells to be rung
    And songs that were sung to be hung out like blankets
    That lovers have played on
    And laid on while listening to songs that were sung

    At the end of the end
    It's the start of a journey
    To a much better place
    And a much better place
    Would have to be special
    No reason to cry
    No need to be sad
    At the end of the end

    Goodbye, Paul. And thanks.
    --Bruce Mirken

  32. I just adored Paul. When I started working with him (at age 21), he always made me feel like I was an equal. Bless you Paul and thank you.

    Faith Landsman

  33. Paul, you will be dearly missed and left a mark for all of us. A true inspiration. It was a pleasure...


  34. When I first discovered that I could find people on the internet, lo these many years ago, the first person from my past that I thought to look for was Paul Serchia. If anyone I ever knew or cared about, I thought, had become anyone important or famous it would be Paul Serchia. Indeed, I found Paul who had been one of my classmates through junior high and high school and I found that, as I expected he was someone famous and important. Maybe not to everyone, but certainly to the people whose lives he had come in contact with. I was not disappointed. As a good lurker and aware of his HIV status, I followed Paul through the years until I found his blog and reconnected with him, if even just for a bit. His words have supported me for the last year. Whenever I have been down or feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders (I teach math--one of those 'failing' teachers), I have turned to Paul's writings to help me see that even in the face of terrible odds and facing near certain failure, we can still laugh. When the words stopped on January 26th, I continued looking, every day, hoping against hope that Paul had managed to scrawl out just a few more words. Sadly, it was not to be. Now I will just have to carry on Paul's legacy, along with my students and my family, and remember, no matter the situation, the trouble, the adversity, we can still laugh and think that everything's going to be alright. Thank you so much, Paul. In your honor, I promise I will never forget.

    What lucky angels.

    Sue Thompson (the annoying girl in Critical Thinking)

  35. I came to this blog several months ago at the suggestion of a mutual friend and have been following Paul's writing every since. His joi de vivre has inspired me half way around the world - in Tanzania - where I am working with people living with HIV. I am grateful for being able to share these past few monthhs with him. What an amazing man.


  36. I'm a friend of a friend of who is deeply moved by reading these postings. I am so sorry for your loss. I wish I had known Paul. His words are full of life and inspiration as I read them now. There's chutzpah and positive energy all over - I bet that's how he likes it.

    Love and peace to you all,


  37. I first met Paul way back in 7th grade in a class called "Critical Thinking" and I loved the way Paul used to drive our teacher crazy! Paul started writing for our Junior High newspaper and his articles were such a joy to read. We both attended high school together and another one of my fondest memories was watching Paul attempt to play basketball. Paul always had a smile that would light up the entire room and his sense of humor always had me laughing. Last year, I received a friend request from Paul on Facebook and since then, I've been reading his Facebook posts and his blogs. I have been amazed at the grace and courage Paul demonstrated in his fight. To say that his last journey is inspirational is an understatement. Paul was a tireless fighter against the disease that would claim his life. To honor Paul's memory and his spirit, I think Paul would want us to get involved in any cause. Do you want to help the homeless? Pick up a hammer with Habitat for Humanity and help build a home. Do you want to help with finding a cure for AIDS? Get on your bike and ride in Paul's favorite event. Do you want to help stop the spread of AIDS in Africa? Click on and then pick up your phone and start dialing your elected representatives to tell them that you want the US to send more aid and medicine to Africa. The point of this rant is to stay involved and honor Paul's memory.

    "I'll see you again
    When the stars fall from the sky
    And the moon has turned red
    Over One Tree Hill " - U2

    "I still can't believe you're gone
    So long my friend, so long" - Switchfoot

    Rest in Peace, my friend

    - Cal Spadoni

  38. Right on Cal. I totally agree with you.

    Today's service paid wonderful tribute to our friend, family member and maybe even just the guy you know from the blog. Thanks for all the love shared, whether you were there or just thought about him today.

  39. My sincere thanks and appreciation to the many friends, co workers and former co workers and high school pals that honored Paul earlier today at his memorial. It was such a honor for me to listen to the tribute extended to Paul and the comments expressed after the service. Paul certainly had many friends that shared his illness with him with their comfort.
    Paul's family extends our most sincere appreciation to those that paid their respects.


  40. I am so sorry I missed the service to honor Paul. I worked with Paul for several years at APLA. I spent some time with him when his body started to give him such a tough time of it. I have been inspired by his courage over the last year. He forged ahead, pointing out for us in this space what wonderful acts others with doing. I so looked forward to getting together with him about a year ago because his part of our conversation, that he wrote down for me since he couldn't speak was so funny. I loved being around him.

    I didn't read this earlier in the week because I was afraid I would see that Paul died. The fact that he is gone is such a loss. I'm having trouble believing it. If there is going to be another honoring of Paul, I'd appreciate someone posting it here and I'll attend. He was an incredibly delightful and special man.

    Jeannie Mintz

  41. Paul's memory and spirit will live forever, thanks to all of you. Your prayers, support, thoughts, emails, and texts meant a lot to Paul and all of us. Reading these, even know bring strength and a smile knowing Paul made a difference.

    He will never be forgotten ...

    Mike (the brother)

  42. Paul's service was such a tribute to his essence. We are all so blessed to have known him.


  43. I'm so sorry to hear the news about Paul's passing. I have known Paul since junior high (I was in the same class that posters Sue and Cal mentioned). It was a privilege to know Paul way back then, and I'm glad that I was able to be in touch with Paul during the last several years. His writings inspired me as they did so many of you.

    ~ Steve Adolph

  44. I love the way Paul was loved and respected by all his friends and family. Paul was a gift to humanity. He will be missed by all who knew him and how he touched their lives.Paul suffered but never complained. He is not suffering any more. I hope that heaven is beautiful place because they just received another beautiful face!
    With Love, Lisa

  45. If you are on Facebook, please check out the
    Paul Serchia Fan Page

  46. checking in...and saddened to read that Paul has passed on...didn't know him, just read his most recent posts and appreciated his humor amidst his hardest trials...RIP will be missed :*(

  47. It has been a week since the "Paul Celebration" and I miss him so very much. I shared this with Dean and it is so relevant ...

    "There are places I'll remember all my life, though some have changed,
    some forever, not for better, some have gone and some remain.

    All these places had their moments with lovers and friends I still can recall,
    some are dead and some are living, in my life ... I've loved them all"

    Lennon McCartney

    I love you Paul!

  48. I've told several of Paul's oldtime covolunteers @ Sh.Oaks AIDS ward - they too are extremely moved.My first notes didn't log on somehow - he did this earlier great commitment in '86 to '88.So glad I found him @ the Center last March after being out of touch for a decade - He told me back in '92 that there was this place called the internet where I could find the interviews embeded permanently that he once conducted with some of us hospital visitors for issues of Positive Living. He told me I was first to hear of his seroconverting during candlelight march @UCLA (in 1991?)Always wanted the best for my friend - Rick Mechtly

  49. I am so sorry for the loss of a great human being, i met Paul while I was with APLA as a Case Manager,i would run into paul at various events, he was electrifying and full of energy that energized me during my difficult moments in my own personal journey. I know we have an extraordinary person in heaven looking down at us and continue to inspire... May God bless his family and those as they mourn his passing.
    Luis Manuel Torres, Chaplain
    Los Angeles Archdiocese

  50. I facilitate a support group for those with HIV/AIDS and I was skimming the internet hunting for some meaningful discussion topics and I came upon Paul's blog. I knew him not except through his writing but I wish I had known him through his presence in my life. We have a memory moment before each group and I will light a candle in his memory tomorrow evening.

  51. RIP sweetie. My brother passed away in 2001 from AIDS and life just isn't the same without him. I've enjoyed you opening up your life to us, God Bless and may you find peace and happiness now.

    love Debb

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  53. We shared a love (and dare I say fanaticism) for the Rolling Stones and I am so thankful for that Connection. Paul, I will miss you but your memory Shines a Light in this girl's heart! Love, Jordana

  54. I enjoyed your entries on Toxic Words - such great thoughts and a wonderful reminder to watch the words I use - to be positive and kind and use words to build up rather than tear down. :)

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