A week ago I heard the sad news that one of my favorite professors, Regis Tucci, had passed away in his home of natural causes. Whenever I hear someone has passed from natural causes, I automatically think it was an elderly person. What death from natural causes actually means is that there are no known answers as to why a person has passed, they just did.
After the initial shock and lack of answers, I began to wonder how to possibly grieve. I’ve survived the deaths of many around me; however, grieving for a person is just as specialized as the individual whom has passed away.
I lit an incense and began to cry; but, then it occurred to me that the best way to grieve is to remember the individual, in this case Professor Tucci, as he was when he was alive rather than how he died. I could almost hear his voice telling me that.
As a communications professor, Tucci taught that one should take a stand in life. If a student couldn’t take a stand on anything and had to ask what to write, the worst suggestion a student could possibly get from Tucci was to write an essay about “what’s more important, the message or the messenger?” Which in my opinion, are both equally important; thus, the cursed paper would turn into a catch-22 if one gave it too much thought.
Tucci would offer his take on a subject as encouragement if one was willing to take a stand, he had the ability to intelligently perceive different angles to try and infuse the students argument; thus, producing strong opinions even among the most unsure of students.
Tucci was a very nice, caring and methodical man. I will never forget the day I ran into him near the library when I was on my way to his Reality TV class. “Let’s walk together,” he said. He noticed I was walking in the grass and stated “we should always walk on the sidewalks.” So, we walked to class together on the sidewalk. That day in class, I was sideswiped when he stated that he believed God intended for mankind to sleep at least until noon. Tucci was the source of many smiles for many years, and I am fortunate enough to claim a few of those smiles for myself, what a gift it is to have known him.
My heartfelt sympathy goes to those he left behind, relatives, and his fiancee whom Tucci was crazy about.
It’s unfortunate I will not make it to his memorial service; however, I do not need to attend to know that the world has lost a great man. I do hope to read more blogs written in his honor.