Dear teaxplorer readers,
This is Maria, Drew’s wife. It is with a very heavy heart that I write this post to let you know that Drew passed away on 30 May after battling cancer and Crohn’s disease. A small funeral service, followed by a celebration of Drew’s life, took place on 10 June in my native Germany, which is where we spent the last two months with family.
Some of you knew about Drew’s illness, but he never liked to give this topic more time or space than absolutely necessary. Drew always chose to focus on life instead and on what made him happy and sparked his curiosity. Tea was one of his greatest passions. Blogging about tea, sharing his photography and having conversations with the tea community around the world always brought him an enormous amount of joy.
In Drew ’s blog folder, I found notes for a blog post in which he was planning to talk about what “teaxplorer” meant to him personally while going through cancer treatment. It is an unfinished draft, but there are a few parts that I would like to share with you, his readers – tea lovers and fantastic tea businesses around the world that became so dear to him over the past three years.
Me, tea and cancer
In April 2015, I had surgery for complications due to Crohn’s disease. During surgery, they found an extremely rare form of cancer in me. I was lucky because it was in time. Some might criticise that it wasn’t spotted earlier, but I chose to externalise. It wasn’t part of me, not “me”. Cancer is just a wake-up call, a chapter in my life where I needed time to re-access me and correct my life path, through loves in my life, such as my unbelievably supportive wife, my family, fully taking in life (rethinking life – both good and bad) and taking more time to explore things that I love, like tea. Blogging about tea has kept me busy, it provides normality in my life.
Therapeutic aspects of tea – and the tea community
Despite growing research, I will not suggest here that tea can prevent or stop cancer. I am not a medical researcher or doctor that can make such claims. Rather, like other types of therapy and medicines, it is a great complimentary therapy for ME, and it makes me happy.
The tea community has helped me on this path.
Thank you all and especially Jaye, Paul, Kyle, Alex, Jade Leaf, Baraka Teas, Postcard Teas
Fully taking in life
…and that’s what we did. Always hoping that we would have more time, and enjoying every moment of what we had.
Some of the things Drew loved the most: travelling and exploring places, photography, drinking great tea and enjoying good food.
Enjoying seafood in Granada
Teaxplorer…. lives on
Having a cup of mint tea in Morocco
With Drew no longer with us, teaxplorer will change, but it will not end. Although I’ve learned so much about tea from Drew, I do not have the knowledge to continue with his blog in the same way he did (this would make Drew smile, he liked to introduce me as his coffee-drinking wife).
However, many people have been so incredibly generous and asked me if there is a good cause they can support in Drew’s name. His family and I immediately felt it would have to be a project related to tea, tea-making, tea cultures and health aspects of tea, all in the spirit of teaxplorer. I think this would make him happy.
I’ve been in touch with Tim d’Offay from Postcard Teas where Drew used to work, and we’ve been discussing some ideas for an event in London with workshops and tea tastings.
I would love to hear from you as well. Please comment or get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to share your ideas for a teaxplorer project.
I’ll post more details here soon.