Al Weisel's mother wrote the tragic story below:
I don't know how else to tell you all who love this [Jon Swift's] blog. I am Jon Swift's Mom and I guess I'm going to OUT him. He was Al Weisel, my beloved son. Al was on his way to his father's funeral in VA when he suffered 2 aortic aneurysms, a leaky aortic valve and an aortic artery dissection from his heart to his pelvis. He had 3 major surgeries within 24 hours and sometime during those surgeries also suffered a severe stroke. We, his 2 sisters, his brother, his partner and his best friend since he was 9 years old were with him as he took his last breath. We have all lost a shining star who warmed our hearts, tormented us and made us laugh as he giggled at our pulling something over on us. He passed away on February 27, 2010. My beloved child will live on in so many hearts. I miss him more than I can say. If you are on Facebook, go to organizations and join "Friends of Al Weisel, Unite!" It will give you just a taste of how special he was. Farewell, Jon (Al)
To everyone who loved this wonderful man as well as those will miss his profound wit and generosity, I offer lasting condolences.
Personally, I am devastated to hear this. Al Weisel went far out of his way to encourage my fiction writing. He was probably the first, other than my husband, to show a consistent interest in it. He promoted my little blog two years running, getting it—in all its minuscule obscurity—nominated as a finalist in the Weblog Awards. He once emailed me from Bolivia where he was reviewing movies to compliment me on a portion of my novel. Nobody has ever extended so much affirmation to my writing, which matters far too much to me, considering practically every other view of life.
I met him twice and both times was struck by his warmth and incredible wit, which fit so perfectly but sweetly with his humor writing. His blog was hilarious. He was a gracious and kind man and, I personally considered his breadth of knowledge not just impressive but brilliant. It's very difficult to accept that such a generous and consistently happy beacon no longer shines in this world.