"BeachGrit has been such a big part of Sean's surf journey, it gave him a place to relax, a sense of community, and connectedness with the ocean, even if he can't physically immerse himself in it."
A little over a year back, BeachGrit commenter Offrocker wrote about being hit with cancer, aged thirty-five.
His story Quit-Lit in the Face of Cancer: Reflections on my Last Surf Ever (Maybe) sure hit the buttons.
“I am four-fifths salt water and I may be going back to Mother Earth after my three dozen goes around the sun. I’ve done my time watching the tides. Sandbars form and melt away. Storms. Rock ledges. Learning winds, and how they swirl down valleys, equating it to long period swell wrapping around seafloor features. All little tidbits of info with no relevance to my now landlocked life, but it gives me joy to know the natural world by force of confronting it and understanding my place in it.”
Offrocker, real name Sean Mitchell, followed up his quit-lit with a story about getting a little taste of the ocean after being floored by his cancer treatments.
“The slow meat grinder of being poisoned every two weeks and watching your body break down in front of you. The chemo port implanted over your pec burrows down all the way into your heart. How the port tugs when you lift your arm above your head.
How to shower with a needle hanging out of your chest attached to a bottle of the same poison that’s killing you, and hopefully the cancer.
A thousand little adjustments.
My life is walking the dogs around and around the block, exercise bikes, core strength rehabilitation, hypervigilent handwashing. All very important, but monochrome.
No, not monochrome, but like when you adjust the filter on a photo… desaturated.
And then last week, out of the blue, I got the reprieve.
After a few rounds of chemo, my bloods were stable and my oncologist let me go in the ocean.”
A couple of hours ago, Sean’s wife Michelle wrote to tell me that he’s in a hospice, has a couple of days left.
He has been more drowsy but has periods of lucidity, however, these periods are getting shorter and fewer.
I just want to let you know that BeachGrit has been such a big part of Sean’s surf journey, it gave him a place to relax, a sense of community, and connectedness with the ocean, even if he can’t physically immerse himself in it. Thank you for creating such a great community.
We have set up a typeform for messages and photos, please feel free to send through a message and pass on the link to anyone who wants to send a message to Offrocker (click here for link.)
We read him messages from this form and show him pictures during his periods of lucidity. It will also become a keepsake for the family. Please pass on our gratitude to the BeachGrit community.
Jump in, say goodbye to a well-loved brother.