Jeffrey Allen Sample, 12/19/1976 - 12/01/2002, I love you, Jeff

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Josh Lowe, Dec 1, 2002.

  1. Josh Lowe

    Josh Lowe Screenwriter

    Jun 19, 2002
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    My best friend died before my eyes tonight. I wrote this final update to send out to a mailing list of concerned friend and family he's emailed over the span of his illness. His parents asked me to write this.

    "He is now at rest, we who are left are the ones to suffer."

    This is Jeff's final health update.

    At 9:40 PM Central Time, Jeffrey Allen Sample passed away due to
    complications stemming from his 2 year fight against Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
    Jeff was 25 years old. He died at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston,
    Texas. Jeff spent the final days, hours, minutes and seconds of his life
    surrounded by people that love him.

    There is nothing that I can think, that I can say, or that I can write that
    can begin to narrowly contain within a few words the boundless love, respect
    and admiration I have for Jeff. Jeff was the closest friend I've ever had
    and ever will have. We were the best of friends from the very first time we
    met in the ninth grade. Throughout the 12 years since then my love for my
    best friend did nothing but grow exponentially. I saw with what respect and
    dignity he faced impossible odds. Jeff eventually became my hero, too.

    Jeff fought this disease tooth and nail for nearly two years. During that
    two years he endured obscene levels of pain for such long periods of time
    that none of us can ever begin to understand without having endured them
    ourselves. The tumors spread from his lymph nodes, all across his body and
    refused to withdraw, despite the broadest varities of treatments prescribed
    by some of the finest doctors in the world. The constant barrage of drugs
    and chemotherapy eroded Jeff's immune system and left him vulnerable to the
    threat of infection. Jeff was fighting fungal and viral infections combined
    with the cancer and the plain old wear and tear on his body and mind. He
    was fighting a war on three fronts and eventually he had to surrender. It
    was his hope and the hope of his doctors that he would be able to return to
    Key Largo, so he could spend the remainder of his time with his friends and
    family in his own home. But his illnesses accelerated at an incredible
    rate, so fast that even though I saw it with my own eyes, I can still hardly
    believe it.

    Jeff lost the use of his left lung some time ago, the tumors claimed it from
    him. But as of this past Tuesday, his right lung was clear and healthy.
    Between Tuesday and Friday morning, something just went wrong. Jeff awoke
    early Friday morning with breathing difficulties caused by what seemed to be
    anxiety attacks. They were brought under control several times, only to be
    lost again. Ultimately, Jeff was taken to MD Anderson at 2:30AM on Sunday
    when it became clear that his anxiety was getting the best of him. His
    pulse oxygen numbers were too low, but quickly came back up once he was
    hooked up to a mask in the Emergency Center. As the morning progressed,
    however, the numbers began to slide again. X-rays of Jeff's chest revealed
    that his once healthy right lung was in serious trouble. What caused his
    condition to degrade so rapidly? There are no answers to that question,
    just as there are no answers to the madness that is this horrible disease
    he's been forced to endure for the final two years of his life.

    By noon on Sunday the prognosis had been made by Jeff's doctors: the end of
    his suffering was imminent, he would be at peace before the end of the
    night. When you talk to someone who's lost a loved one, something they
    often voice is the regret that they never had a chance to say goodbye, to
    mend a fence, or to bring some unfinished things to closure. I feel so
    blessed that I was given that chance. Before Jeff lost his ability to
    communicate, I held his hand, I kissed him on the side of his stubbly bald
    head and I whispered my last offerings of help to him. That it was okay to
    let go, he didn't have to keep fighting or worrying about anything. That
    his tremendously loving and supportive parents would be OK. That I'd look
    after them and everyone else that he cares about. That we'd all look after
    each other. I told him he was my brother and that I would die for him a
    hundred times to save and protect him from anything that would harm him or
    anyone he loves. That I would give anything to take his place, and most of
    all to make sure he knew that despite only having 25 years of life in this
    world that he had accomplished more in that time than most people could ever
    hope to. Everyone that met Jeff was his friend. Jeff didn't know the
    meaning of the word 'enemy'. Jeff had inner fears that his life had been in
    vain, I did all I could to lay those to rest once and for all in order to
    help him find as much peace as he could in those final hours. I told him
    how much I loved him and that I'll never stop fighting for him, even when he
    can't fight any more.

    Jeff's last words to me were "I love you, too", repeated over and over in
    between gasps for breath.

    And that was all I wanted to say. Ashley and his parents then had their
    private time with him. Time to say what they needed to and to find solace.
    And then Jeff began to fade. Jeff's body died at 9:40 PM, but his conscious
    mind was at rest much earlier. And that was so much for the better. I
    can't describe how much he'd been through and what the toll on his body was.
    The most telling part is that his spirit was never even scratched. Nothing
    could take that away from Jeff, my best friend.

    Jeff is survived by many. All of us. We're his legacy, we're the sum of
    his life and we should treasure what he gave us and what we have in each
    other and those we love. Please don't ever forget that, for his sake.

    I love you, Jeff.


  2. Masood Ali

    Masood Ali Supporting Actor

    Jan 31, 2002
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    How you managed to make a moment of such tremendous sadness so cryingly beautiful, I will never know.

    Goodbye Jeff, and thank you for the update Josh.
  3. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

    Dec 15, 2001
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    Seeing dates next to his name in the subject took the life out of me. Rest in peace, Jeff.
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Mar 28, 2000
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    Josh, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Jeff was too young for this to have happened. Again, I am sorry, but Jeff is in a better place now.
  5. Greg Kolinski

    Greg Kolinski Second Unit

    Oct 13, 2002
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    I am SO sorry to hear of your loss,I lost my father to cancer in 96,words cannot describe how it is to watch a loved one waste away.Again my deepest sympathies

  6. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

    Mar 12, 2002
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    The most telling part is that his spirit was never even scratched

    “If each of us, Essentially, is that which is greatest within us, which always remains the same and by which we understand ourselves, then certainly the soul is the man himself, and the body is but his shadow. Whatever wretch is so deluded as to think that the shadow of man is man, like Narcissus is dissolved into tears. You will only cease to weep, when you cease looking for Jeffrey in his dark shadow and begin to follow him by his own clear light. For the farther he is from the misshapen shadow the more beautiful will you find him.

    Marsilio Ficino 1473.The Ficino Letters, Vol. One.

    What is there to say? I am so sorry.
  7. Moe Maishlish

    Moe Maishlish Supporting Actor

    Mar 30, 1999
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    My deepest and most sincere condolences at your loss. You've managed to articulate in a few paragraphs what most people can't begin comprehend throughout a lifetime - in life & in death, true friendship endures.

    All our thoughts & prayers are with you.

  8. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

    May 7, 1999
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    My best goes out to all the people that he loved, and that loved him.

  9. FredHD

    FredHD Stunt Coordinator

    Oct 8, 2000
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    It takes a lot of courage to express your feelings with us the way you have. Your love and devotion to your friend is very admirable, and I will never forget having witnessed it. I hope that today you consider us here @ HTF your family as we mourn with you. This may be the toughest loss you have ever had to suffer, but from the strength I have seen from you so far, I have no doubt that you will make it through this tough time. Please accept my deepest condolescences.

  10. Rain

    Rain Producer

    Mar 21, 2001
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    Wow, Josh, I'm so sorry to hear about this...and so soon after your last thread about your friend.

    It is good to know that Jeffrey had you by his side at the end.

    And remember that your friend lives on in the way that he has touched and affected all the people who were part of his life.

    My deepest condolences too you, Josh.
  11. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

    Aug 6, 2001
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    Northern Virginia
    Real Name:
    Chuck Mayer
    Pain is best shared with friends, and I hope the sharing of your love for Jeff and your sadness at his passing is somehow cathartic. There aren't the words to heal you or help you, just to let you know that Jeff died as every one of us wishes we can...surrounded by those we love.

    Jeff, his family, and those whose lives he touched are in our thoughts and prayers.

  12. Josh Lowe

    Josh Lowe Screenwriter

    Jun 19, 2002
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  13. Frederick

    Frederick Second Unit

    Mar 9, 1999
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    I don't know what to say, Josh. I logged on a few days ago and read your first post, and I log on today and see this. My heart goes out to you and his family. I'm sure everyone here feels the same. May he rest in peace ...

    Freddy C.
  14. Jason Quillen

    Jason Quillen Supporting Actor

    Nov 1, 2000
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    I can't think of anything to add that others haven't already said - I'm sorry for your loss and hope Jeff's friends, family, and loved ones the best in this terrible time.
  15. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

    Dec 30, 2001
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    My prayers and condolences go out to you and everybody else who loved Jeff. He was lucky to have such great friends and I feel lucky that, even though I didn't know him personally, I was able to be touched by his (and your) courage in this trying time. Thanks for sharing this painful experience with us so openly, Josh.
  16. Jefferson

    Jefferson Supporting Actor

    Apr 23, 2002
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    I'm sorry, Josh.
    A lot of us here understand loss
    of friends, family, loved ones.
    It is the hardest thing i've encountered in life so far,
    and my thoughts are with you tonight.
    Keep Jeff alive in every memory,
    and I think you will find, in time,
    some comfort, and some hope there.
  17. Darren Mortensen

    Darren Mortensen Stunt Coordinator

    Jul 26, 2001
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    Thank you for sharing this small bit of Jeff's life. I work in the healthcare field as a respiratory practitioner, and have seen many patients pass without the comfort of friends and family at their side. God bless you for your sincere love for your friend. God bless those of you who were there when his spirit left to be with Him.

    Selfishly, I admire your love and compassion for Jeff and wish I had a friend like you, as Jeff did.

    An aquaintance of mine was just diagnosed with Hodgkin's just last week. He is my age, about 38. His best friend is my neighbor, he too is devastated by this dreadful news. We too should not take our lives or health for granted, we are all here for such a short time.

    God Bless,

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