My friend Laura Wiebe passed away earlier this week. I met Laura around 1995 when she was in a gothic metal band Embrace and they played a disastrous show in Guelph that I helped put together for my friends in Tchort (possibly still called Tchort and the Family Mantis at the time).
Laura was smart, funny, had a brilliant mind and did things I wish I could do. She wrote a thesis about Voivod! She got a PhD from McMaster University! She presented university papers about heavy metal and popular culture! She could write circles around me about metal, sci fi, cats – and she often did.
When I started Hellbound.ca in June of 2009 after the demise of both Unrestrained! and Metal Maniacs, I had a list of people I wanted to get to write for it and Laura was top of that list. Years later I was honoured when she asked if she could become editor, since she knew I had no time to do so with two young children at home and a full time job in Mississauga. She took Hellbound from being good to being great.
Laura and her partner Adam Wills are people that I consider friends. Both are excellent people. I loved running into them randomly around town, at a show, or going to visit them over at their house, but on Tuesday of this week Laura passed away early in the morning.
Laura is on the left hand side of the picture below, probably taken around 2008 or 2009 at the Casbah in Hamilton. Possibly when Trouble or Hammers of Misfortune played there. I gave her that Edge of Sanity shirt I was wearing not long after this picture was taken. I knew how much she loved all the different musical styles that Dan Swano creates.
I’m having a hard time putting all of my emotions about this into words, but I just want to say that Laura, you were and always will be an excellent person and I know there are many people out there who love you that will miss you dearly. I know you were in a lot of pain and I am glad that you don’t have to suffer anymore.
Please don’t forget about Laura, because she was awesome. The world was a better place with her in it.
RIP my friend.
If anyone would like to make a donation in Laura’s memory, her family has asked to do so with these wonderful animal sanctuaries
Ladybird Animal Sanctuary, Hamilton, ON
The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada, Puslinch, ON
Jacobs Ridge Animal Sanctuary, Murcia, Spain
PS – FUCK CANCER!