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Remembering My (Our) Friend Big Bill Cormney

  Something changed for me a few weeks ago. One of my best friends passed away and I was as sad as I have ever been.   Preparing for his funeral it got worse and worse, but I tried to stay strong for his family.


His name was Bill Cormney. 

He was very sick, and dying.

 His brother, sister and a few other close friends asked him what he wanted and he said, he just wanted to hang out with us. So his brother and  sister went to his house and gathered all his Led Zeppelin and Phillies stuff and decorated his hospital room like it was home. We brought a cooler full of beer and just hung out, taking pictures, listening to his favorite music and telling stories. 


I have never seen him smile more. That was the best day ever for all of us…I thought.  Thirty-six hour later, he passed away, no more suffering, no more pain….for him.


We made his last hours on earth bearable and real. He will truly be missed, but then we had his funeral. 


I have been to many funerals, sad, heart wrenching, and some unbearable. His was different, sure we were sad and crying, but after we laid him to rest in the most beautiful casket I have ever seen, with acoustic guitars playing Amazing Grace in the background. I didn’t think it could get anymore special, then we went to a restaurant and ate and drank. My friend hooked up a small amp and microphone for people to get up and tell stories about Bill. I have never felt anything like that before, it was truly the most amazing day of my life. 


The next day a friend of mine that was there posted this paragraph on the internet….It was a display of something I could only imagine, sometimes even wish I could understand and feel for myself. Times like this frustrate me or even harvest jealous feelings. I would normally tend to avoid such scenes. The comfort and connection was incredible, but still unknown to me. To see it and actually feel it for the first time was very refreshing and assuring that these types of things shouldn’t be avoided, but experienced.


I learned a lot in recent times, I still might not totally understand what I witnessed but still made me feel like there is hope. I just have to surround myself with incredible people before it is too late. What a wonderful lesson-Thanks to whom it may concern. 


Those two days of my 44 years on the planet changed my life. Don’t wait for someone you love to get sick or even just to get old. Tell them, show them how you feel before it is too late. Life is too short, and it is hard, don’t kid yourself thinking it is not. Surround yourself with good people. If you could judge a person success in life by their family and friends…I would be a millionaire!


You only live once, don’t waste it. I have the greatest family and friends. Thank you all for being in my life. 

Steve Bangle, Gloucester City

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