Friday, June 17, 2011

for my friend, liz metcalfe.

My friend, mentor, and colleague, Liz Metcalfe, was killed in a motorcycle accident on Sunday afternoon. Not her fault, not by any stretch, just one of those things where a motorcycle is no competition for a distracted driver encased in 2,000 pounds of steel. My only consolation is that I hope it all happened very quickly and that she was not in any pain. She loved riding her motorcycle, and was a huge motorcycle safety advocate. Testament to how well she was loved and respected within the riding community of Toronto was the fact that over 100 motorcycles joined the processional to the cemetary for "Liz's last ride".

I am still in shock over the loss of Liz. I met her in 2004 when we worked together. She started out as a colleague but quickly became a friend. There was no stopping her. She approached every challenge with a positive attitude and had a laugh that made me grin from ear to ear. Liz supported her friends in a way that made me wonder how she managed to squeeze so much into every day. She was a woman after my own do-it-yourself heart. In fact, when I once posted a facebook status message asking if anyone knew of a drywall contractor, she immediately piped up "Me!". Turns out, years earlier she had paid a contractor to come and teach her how to drywall her home in Montreal, figuring a day of his time to teach her would be cheaper in the long run. My favourite memory of her is coming downstairs to see her covered in a layer of drywall dust, rocking out to her ipod. She used the money she earned from the job for track time so she could practice racing her motorcycle.

Liz has inspired me in so may ways - as a writer, a woman, a mother, and a friend. She never judged anyone and accepted people for who they were. She makes me want to be a better friend, to show up more for the important stuff, and to trust enough to let go and know that if I am important to someone, they will stay in my life on their own accord, I need not push or pull. So this is how I am going to honour your memory Liz, by trying to be as open and giving and loving as you were.

Rest in peace Liz. I am picturing you riding through Spain on your motorcycle right now. You will never be fortgotten.


  1. Awesome post Very well Said. thanks

  2. Raptors Devotee10:39 a.m.

    I used to work at Yamaha Motor Canada in the early 90's and at Canadian Kawasaki Motors in the early 2000's and am very saddened about the loss of your friend, especially when she rides responsibly and is an advocate for safety.

    Unfortunately, between distracted drivers and too many that are not focused on the road due to all the electronic toys riding a bike on the road is more dangerous than ever.

    I have my full licence but was always too scared to ride on the road, so kept my riding to the off-road, where it was only me who was responsible for my safety and not others. If I hit a tree, you can't exactly blame a tree. Having said that, it is not realistic to expect motorcycle riders to stay off the roads, as they have every legal right to do. Liz accepted the risks involved, like all responsible motorcycle riders, and I am glad to see that she lived everyday to the fullest, knowing that this day could come at any moment's notice, which sadly it did.

    I hope that some good comes out of this and the car community will take more notice on the road, both to not driving distracted and by paying attention to the two wheelers.

  3. Anonymous12:38 p.m.

    Well Said.... thought are with you and all Liz's Friends...

  4. What a lovely tribute - well said and inspiring. You are already honoring her name

  5. victoria5:17 a.m.

    Thank you for your poignant message about what Liz meant to you. I enjoyed watching the video of the procession. Thanks for taping it and posting it for others to see