Bunny Up, Gabrielle, Bunny Up…

Please take a moment and say a prayer for my friend Gabrielle Bouliane, who passed away today of biliary tract cancer. She had only a few months from the time of her diagnosis and left us far too soon. Here’s a video of her at a poetry slam, one of her favorite projects, shortly after she had become ill:

I met Gabrielle while I was doing my music podcast. Her interest is film-making and music brought her to many of the same shows I was attending. We were usually right in front of the stage, her with a video camera, me with my still camera. We both were avid fans of Buffalo Celtic-Rock band, Jackdaw, and often were at their shows.

Gabrielle I didn’t know her terribly well, but in some ways we were kindred spirits. That one thing you could say about Gabrielle, she always had spirit. Whenever she came into a room, things got just a bit better, a little brighter, and you knew it was going to be a good time. But we were acquaintances on a friendly basis and I always looked forward to seeing her, or reading one of her articles, or watching one of her videos. Probably our biggest moment together was the time we tag-team interviewed Jackdaw right on their band bus after a show.

One of Gabrielle’s trademarks was her Bunny Ears. I’m not sure of where it started, but I’ve seen pictures of her wearing them. Since her illness, in an attempt to cheer her up, a lot of her friends have been sending pictures to her on Facebook with them wearing Bunny Ears, or with them Photoshopped on. It became a “thing” to “Bunny Up” for Gabrielle. How cool is it to have touched so many people that they’d all collectively get together and do that!

But Gabrielle was like that. She didn’t do much half-way. She’d lived in the Pacific Northwest (college, I believe) before I met her in Buffalo. When she moved from Buffalo to Austin TX a little over a year ago, I knew she’d be doing big things. Before long, she had gotten involved in some big project there that I don’t know enough about to cite, but I was happy for her success. Unfortunately, that was cut short too soon.

My life was better for having known her. There aren’t many people I’d shed a tear over, but when I heard Gabrielle had cancer I cried. Excuse me, while I do it again…

Posted in Music, News
4 comments on “Bunny Up, Gabrielle, Bunny Up…
  1. SL Byrnes says:

    Hi, Al.
    I don’t think I know you, but this is a beautiful tribute to Gabrielle. While I did not get to know her well, either, I am part of the circle her bright star illuminated across the continent. We who felt that light were so blessed and I will continue to seek my own light from her courage and example. Thank you for posting this.

  2. Al Gritzmacher says:

    There will be a “Bunny Up for Gabrielle” memorial on February 14th from 2pm to 11pm at Nietzche’s on Allen Street in Buffalo. I can’t think of a better day to celebrate Gabrielle’s life or a better place. Let’s all raise a glass…

  3. Al Gritzmacher says:

    The Buffalo News Obituary can be seen at: http://www.buffalonews.com/obituaries/story/945274.html

  4. Charles Valerio says:

    Gabrielle lights up the world. This is the best gift you can gift back to her. Continue to follow your own dreams and she will have the greatest smile shining upon you. You have been very lucky to know her. I’m sorry to hear about your loss. She delivered one of the greatest messages I ever heard.

    Condolences,
    Charles Valerio

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