Tommy Toast Quesnel
(1971 - 2016)

Tommy Toast Quesnel

August 19, 1971

February 19, 2016


It's been a long year. I will miss you and think of you everyday for the rest of my life. I haven't said goodbye to you yet, so here it is now...Goodbye little bro. We had some good times.

I guess you really aren't coming back to us. You were loved more than you could believe. Tammie xoxo

Dear Tom

Once upon a time you had no cares, no worries. You rode like the wind. Your soul was light and free. Time passed as it does and clouds started darkening your existence. You could feel things getting heavier, darker but didn't think much about it. Good friends and good times seemed to light your way. Little did you know the worst storm you've ever seen was heading straight for you. It engulfed you, as it did to so many others. It threw you in an irreversible downward spiral. It's impossible not to feel anger towards the storm...and blame. That storm with it's gale force winds and devastating destruction took you. It never set you back on the ground again. You'd come close to us, then it would rip you away once more. I'd actually be able to hold your hand once in awhile. It was hard to watch you spin I had to stop. I always had you in my peripheral vision. That storm though, spun me in the opposite direction and i lost sight of you for a time. It almost destroyed me. Somehow, someway I made it out. I tried to bring you out with me but I think you started to feel like you were the cause of the storm. Absolutely untrue, the storm loved us and didn't want us to hurt. Circumstances made the decision in the end and we were hurt very badly. You would hide from me in the darkness and rain. Occasionally giving me a glimpse of the Tommy I knew. Always disappearing back into your sadness, anger and loneliness. Just recently we talked more. For that I am forever grateful to the force that allowed me to hold you close for awhile. That gratitude doesn't last long because the storm finally took you with him. If you're with that storm right now Tom, please tell him I loved him. I hope the storm has stopped it's torment. You are a great, strong soul and fought as long as you could. I have to say goodbye now Tommy. I also have to tell you I am sorry I couldn't bring you out of the storm with me. We will always love you and miss you.


Mom, Tammie, Anthony, Mike

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Guest Book (37 entries)
Dear Tom,

It’s hard to believe it’s been 4 years since you left us.

Seeing the world through your eyes was one of the greatest pleasures of my life…you were so quick, so observant and intuitive, so present. It’s why so many people were drawn to you – you were always able to make a connection because you were able to see the good and the funny in everyone – things people often didn’t see in themselves until you saw it there first. If you thought someone was special, they were. The ordinary had a way of becoming the extraordinary. While you had more charisma and raw talent in your pinky than most people have in a lifetime, it’s not why people loved you. It’s because you loved them.

If the ordinary became the extraordinary through your eyes, it did so as well through your hands. You created the most beautiful things from absolutely nothing (things most people would have discarded) and somehow they became larger than life – just like you. It was your gift to see potential where others could not. You could build anything and you made it look so easy.

Remember Florence? The mosaic tiles and the saloon doors and curvy countertop you built and the stainless steel table with the crazy table legs? The brick you exposed in each room, the Thai couches? But that was just the beginning – your vision and craftsmanship matured even more with time.

And let’s not forget the riding – so many stories about the legendary Tommy Toast! Coming in top place at the World Cycle Messenger Championships – I remember you told me everyone had been training hard and were decked out in spandex – you stripped down to your underwear so you could race and beat them all, didn’t you? Your legs were like tree trunks and you were such a natural.

Jumping over stacks of newspaper, jumping over cars. Remember when you were sponsored by some bike company, and then they stopped sponsoring you when you broke frame after supposedly unbreakable titanium frame. Or when you got a ticket for speeding - on a bike - and went to court, only to have the whole thing thrown out because the judge had read about you in the papers and was a fan. To be fair, you had been going pretty fast.

Tooting around on motorbikes through Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, going to that crazy tomato fight in Spain, taking that endless train journey through the unforgiving Moroccan desert – more incredible memories. Making friends with all the locals everywhere we went, as usual. Sharing pints of home brew with ancient Vietnamese grandpas and hanging out with all the kids in every village we visited.

And then there was tree planting and thinning. You loved your chainsaw! Though cutting down trees just to clear a path to the beach was perhaps a teeny bit wasteful. But little did I know what you had in mind – your island, the one you took a boat out to and claimed as your own. Population 3.

Remember all those nights at the Gladstone (before it changed) – we just sang along – and that New Years we got separated from the group and ended up wandering into a church and celebrating New Year’s Eve with a room full of total strangers and it being the most amazing night ever? We danced the night away and it was magical. That could have only ever happened with you. God, you were hilarious – no one could make me laugh like you.

I miss seeing the world through those big, blue eyes, which were like a window into the future. You were so ahead of your time. Even if our lives drifted apart here and there, knowing you were around always made me happy. You need both sides of the memory to give it life and now I feel so alone carrying all these memories on my own. I guess that’s what hurts so much – we can never again laugh about those times together.

You could be so wise and you always surprised me with your optimism and kindness. For someone who thought anything was possible in others, I don’t know why you couldn’t see the same in yourself. I am so mad at you for making me say good bye.

Thank you, Tom – for being one of a kind, for growing up together, for loving me. You can only appreciate the world through love, and I loved you so, so much. I remember, and I will always remember.
February 19th, 2020

A stream runs through a forest, and stones of all shapes and sizes break up the gurgling water. I jump on the stones – slipping sometimes, falling others, but eventually I make it across. I call over to you, come on, you can do it. You jump on one stone, and fall in. You try again, but slip. You get angry. You don’t try again.

I see you on the other side, and the river is widening between us. I know you can do it – it’s you who doesn’t know. I see vicious animals moving in on you – I tell you to hurry up and cross the river – these demons will devour you. They are hiding in the shadows. But you feel lonely on the other side, and you start to befriend them. Like parasites they grasp onto you and suck your lifeblood as I watch in horror from the other side.

I’m frantic now – I mark the stones that I used, and tell you to follow in my steps. But the weight of the demons is weighing you down and my path does not work for you. I mark other stones, I throw rope, but because you have never crossed the river, to you the river seems like an ocean. For me - I feel like I can reach out my hand and touch you.

Every day I come back to the riverbank and call out to you, but I can barely tell you apart from the demon that has latched onto you. In fact it has taken over your body and now the Tom I love is in fact hidden in the shadow of the demon. It is very dark on your side – the sun’s warmth doesn't penetrate. The demon makes a bonfire to keep you from missing the sun, and to my great sadness, it seems to work.

The demon lies to you. He whispers that nobody loves you and that is why you are all alone. He is very hungry and makes you do terrible things to make sure he is well fed. But he is never, ever satisfied, and his needs leave little room for anything else. Sometimes when the demon is sleeping you remember me. You crawl over to the shore and call out to me. I am always waiting because you are so, so dear to me. I throw you food and make you stronger, and soon the demon only weighs half as much and you can stand again.

You think you can cross the river now– I tell you to get rid of that demon, he is weighing you down. But he whispers that you don’t have to get rid of him to cross – he says you can hide him – she will never see. But with the demon, every attempt to cross the river fails. And because he is now closer to you than anyone, you believe him. In fact you cannot imagine your life without him, and aren’t even sure if you’d want to live a life without him. What’s so great about the other side of the river anyway? Suddenly you don’t care anymore about anything except for his insatiable needs … And you disappear again.

As the demon gets stronger you get weaker. He lies because his very existence is meant to be a secret. He does not want to admit how grotesque he really is. He shows you a distorted mirror that makes his hideous figure seem normal. His needs ravage your body and your spirit, but he hides this so you cannot see it. No longer are things done for other people or for oneself – now everything is done for him.

Where is my best friend, what have you done to him? Me, says the demon? Tom is with me by choice. I am so angry at this murderer, this thief, this monster that has taken my Tom - the Tom who lit up my life from within, and who is now forever gone.
February 18th, 2017
I remember a legend, in all his endeavours. Ride on, Toast.

There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief.
oates (friend)
April 11th, 2016
Dearest Tommy

For nine months I carried you under my heart, then the time came for you to leave, it took you 19 hours plus to make you day view, kicking and screaming you were born.

I held you in my arms, I passed you to your Dad, you were all red and wrinkled and your father said this is Tommy.

You grew, I fed you, I changed, I did all the things a mother needs to do, I introduced you to your sister and she loved you on sight. Mostly though we just loved you and cuddled your and watched you grow.

You smiled, we smile, and you cried we worried, you grew.

You learned to crawl but crawling wasn’t fast enough you learned to walk and then run. You grew too big to hold in my arms, too big to hold under my heart. You became your own person. but falls and scraps always brought you back to me. As you grew life became harder for you. You tried so hard to do things for yourself, wanted to be strong and follow in your dad’s shadow. Where he went you wanted to be. You grew tall and strong and became more independent.

It was hard for me to see you spread your wings and make your own way. I wanted to keep you safe but you wanted to run, to fly, to ride. You did.

You left us, you returned, you left, always the same pattern, but you always returned if only to say HI.

You travelled the world with your best friend, you soared, but there was always a dark place waiting. Trying to take you away from those who loved you.

You and Tammy were the typical brother and sister but the love between you was strong and you always came back. You fell so far after your Dad, we did not think you could crawl out of the darkness but you did with the help of those who loved you.

You fell in love and your daughter Olivia was born, you soared again for awhile, you loved her so much, you taught her she followed you, You did all the things a father should do, you taught her to be a tickle gun, you taught her to be silly, you taught her love. You were her horsey, jungle gym and her climbing post. The lap she wanted to sit in. You made her giggle and laugh, but the darkness came and now she is the saddest little girl.

But you couldn’t stay, the darkness took over and you left again to the secret place in the soul where the darkness pulled you. The darkness was seductive and felt like home. You forgot the people who loved you, who would miss you, who would morn for you.

You threw off the darkness many times over you life but it always pulled you back. It made you sad but it made you feel safe. But it was not safe, it was a lie. The darkness took you and this time it will not let you come back to us. We miss your laugh, your crazy smile, Your light has been extinguished so we will light candles for you to show you the way.

Grab you bike, ride like the wind, jump like crazy, but know that you have left so many broken hearts behind. Family and friends who will remember and miss you forever and wonder why the darkness won.

Love you forever my dear son and hold you in my heart. Love Mom

Arla Elchesyn (Mom)
March 5th, 2016
You never, caused pain, was always love brother, pain is missing you.
There's time for rest now, although all of us sure would love a quick visit, before you get to busy with spirit obligations.
I guess your faster than a photon now, in your path no longer pylons, doors, every lane open. Well man, miss ya.
Kate said it, with real personal meaning, I can see you bunny hopping the stars, running a crew of tree planters on Mars, wherever.
You'll always be with us. Nothing will take all of ya away from our hearts, minds and old boy your spirit always has got an open parking for whatever ya show up in, 2, 3 even 4 wheels. Whether your wearing a yellow polyester suit or blacked out spandex.
B B (Brotherhood)
February 27th, 2016
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"One day I will follow the light you left for me brother"
Brent Ruddy
February 12th, 2017
"my condolences"
Christine Christine
February 23rd, 2016
"May the candle always be flashing for you Tommy"
Diane and Roger Pitre
February 21st, 2016
"May there always be a candle to light your way"
Arla Elchesyn
February 21st, 2016
"The Flame of tommy toast can never be put out"
mike quesnel
February 21st, 2016
"A blinding flash of light"
Tammie Quesnel
February 20th, 2016


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