I’m afraid I have some very bad news to share in this post. Last Thursday, at 3:30 in the afternoon, our beloved Tonico collapsed on the street from a heart attack. In spite of the quick intervention by a passing doctor who administered CPR until the ambulance arrived, he died. Zozó, Luiz and I were at his side encouraging him to hang on, but we lost him. He was three days shy of his 79th birthday.
This is life shattering for Zozó, his partner for the past 45 years. Her new way forward has not even begun to be imagined. For now it is a whirlwind of telephone calls, visitors, paperwork and tears. It is horrible to see her in such agony.
I’m going to refrain from eulogizing. Suffice it to say that Tonico (Antonio) was the rock on which Zozó has built her life all these years. His gentle heart and generous nature provided her with the love, support and stability she has needed to thrive. To say he will be dearly missed is ridiculously inadequate. Now everything changes.
We knew this day was coming. To be together with Zozó and Tonico was 90% of the reason Luiz and I moved here when we did. While these past two years were too short a time, we are grateful to be here now with Zozó during this horrendous tragedy.
As is customary in Brazil, we laid Tonico to rest the next day after receiving family, friends and colleagues in a chamber at the cemetery. The seven-day mass will be said at our local Catholic church on Thursday at 5:00 p.m.
Rest in peace Tonico. We love you.