It won't be long now.
May 20, 2013 9:18 PM   Subscribe

"Every teenager out there feels invincible. And they'll never admit it. It's not the kind of invincible like Superman. It's the kind of invincible like - I'll see you in five months." [20-minute YouTube documentary by SoulPancake.]

At age 14, Zach Sobiech (previously) was diagnosed with bone cancer. Given months to live, he turned to music to say goodbye. Zach's song "Clouds" received 3 million hits, and inspired a celebrity cover video featuring dozens of actors and musicians. Zach died today at his home in Minnesota. He was 18.
posted by Sfving (13 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
What a lovely human. Condolences to all who love him.
posted by ottereroticist at 9:48 PM on May 20, 2013

. and a big thumbs up for leaving a message better than I'm afraid I could.
posted by drewbage1847 at 9:49 PM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

posted by Katjusa Roquette at 10:45 PM on May 20, 2013

Can't watch, too sad already. Fuck cancer, we have enough problems finding and cultivating brilliant people as it is before they're killed or ruined by everything else.
posted by lordaych at 10:59 PM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


The song fix me up with his childhood friend Sammy Brown is what made me really lose it with the crying.
posted by bilabial at 11:27 PM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Couple of us here are pediatric oncologists. Ninety times out of a hundred when someone finds out what I do, they get this look .... like I just told them that my dog died recently. To me, that means that they simply don't get it. Being a pediatric oncologist means that you get to bear witness to kids like this. And their families. And frankly, it's that - and the fact that more often than not kids go on to survive - that makes the job one of the best in the world (in my opinion).

That's not to say that every kid has the composure and maturity and heart that this young man clearly has ... but a lot of them do. A lot more than I'd expect. I believe that what you end up seeing, especially in the instance of kids like this one, is the essence of being unabashedly alive. I wonder sometimes if the grace that we see in kids is there in adults, but it's just that it tends, more often than not, to get covered up in years and years, and layers and layers of adulthood until you only catch the rare glimpse. I don't know if, as a 45 year old, I could talk about my impending death with such equanimity. It's pretty damn remarkable, what I see in this young man.

Anyhow, the documentary, the song, the whole thing ... well, it's pretty damn uplifting, seeing how absolutely lovely a person can be, how much love they can exude, and how much they can be loved by others.
posted by scblackman at 11:52 PM on May 20, 2013 [34 favorites]

scblackman, thank you for what you do. In my estimation you have a potent intrinsic ability to do exactly what you praise in these children, to appreciate the unabashed alived-ness without completely faltering into darkness. However you do it, it's an amazing talent just being able to "do" what you do before you've done any actual medicine IMHO.
posted by lordaych at 12:11 AM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]

He said he wanted to be remembered as "the kid who went down fighting and didn't really lose." He didn't. He didn't lose but we surely have lost an amazing and wonderful person. It has been very good for me to watch this and to listen to his story and his songs. I envy all who actually knew him and feel all the more keenly an immeasurable sympathy for their loss.
posted by Anitanola at 1:21 AM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Just want to leave this here...

Solving Kids Cancer

I've known a couple of great kids to pass in childhood, and this one way to support the research work to help paediatric oncologists like scblackman
posted by C.A.S. at 2:02 AM on May 21, 2013

Also, that is absolutely the truth, scblackman......the truth
posted by C.A.S. at 2:04 AM on May 21, 2013


Childrens Cancer Fund

Zach's Fund
posted by C.A.S. at 2:09 AM on May 21, 2013

For those of you too afraid to watch the video, I'll explain.

Zach is more than just the "clouds" song he wrote months ago. He is a fantastic, thoughtful, and loving human being. He is everything you hate to see snuffed out - and he is greeting his fate with acceptance and grace. He has taught his family and friends to love better and has inspired far more than just some celebrities to re-record his music. Yes, the kicker is he died yesterday, and while throughout the video - which was only posted May 3 - you know he is dying. But, the story itself transcends that. It is far more a celebration of everyone's life and on defining the terms of how one remembers themselves and how others remember them. It is beautiful and perfect.

I chose to be about 30 minutes late to work today - 22:21 to watch the video and probably 7 minutes or so choosing my words to write this post. I will be a better person for having watched this. And in those terms, it was worth every second.

Zach, you will be missed - by strangers as well.

posted by Nanukthedog at 4:03 AM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]

posted by oneironaut at 10:21 AM on May 21, 2013

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