Garrett Patrick O'SullivanJune 29, 1949 ~ July 2, 2017 (age 68)
Garrett Patrick O’Sullivan, 68, died of a heart attack on July 2nd, in Denver, Colorado. Garrett was born in Boston, MA, June 29th 1949, the first child of Paul F. O’Sullivan Sr. and Katherine Jean (McGonagle) O’Sullivan.
Garrett was raised in Braintree MA and attended Braintree Public Schools, graduating from Braintree High School in 1967. Following high school, Garret studied English Literature at the University of Tampa, Florida, and Bridgewater State College, in Bridgewater, Massachusetts; Garrett also attended Harvard University summer programming. After working a couple of years at Sheehan’s Church Goods in Boston, Massachusetts, Garrett moved to Phoenix, Arizona, before eventually settling in the Denver, Colorado area where he remained for the rest of his life.
From an early age, Garrett suffered from Bipolar Disorder (formerly known as Manic Depression); the onetime founder of CatholicPoetry.org, Garrett was a poet with a profound spiritual and academic temperament; inspired by great writers, poets and composers, Garrett studied both their work and their biographies, often reciting pages of their material and identifying its’ origin, shaping influences, and overall place in both the writer or composer’s oeuvre, and it’s place in the larger Western Canon of Literature. It was not unusual for Garrett to recite long tracts of his own writings, connecting himself in a continuum of creative, manic-depressive artists, snared by what Henry James identified as “…the madness of the art.” Garrett frequently referenced James, among many other great thinkers and writers. Garrett lived the “madness-genius” creative dichotomy; his life was a series of brilliant, creative flashes followed by periods of debilitating inertia. Connecting Garrett’s arcing creative impulses and periods of depressive inertia were Beethoven, Mahler, T.S Eliot, Ezra Pound, and Hart Crane among others; Garrett believed the Orthodox Christian tradition was fundamental to such creative endeavors, anchoring eternal Western Canonical Literature and the greatest symphonies. Prior to his Parkinson’s diagnosis, Garrett read his poetry at a number of local coffee houses, while waiting for the next great American Poet – who he argued would possess the lyrical genius of W.B. Yeats with insight and intellect of T.S. Eliot.
In the last decade, in addition to Bipolar Disorder, Garrett was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The disease progressed rapidly, and in spite of these challenges, Garrett took comfort in his deep, spiritual beliefs and his sense of humor. Among other artists and texts, Garrett could quote freely from both Biblical Scripture…and the black humor of Samuel Beckett – and Garrett got comfort from both in his final, difficult years. Given the opportunity of choosing his last words, Garrett would doubtless quote Oscar Wilde, who famously said, “either this wallpaper goes or I do” as death approached. Rest in peace.
His parents, Paul Francis O’Sullivan Senior and Katherine O’Sullivan precede Garrett in death. He is survived by his siblings, Paul Francis Jr., Gail Marie (O’Sullivan) Dwyer, and Gerard Fred O’Sullivan, and his good friends Julie, Mark, Petronella, and David.
Friends and family will mourn his passing but are glad that his suffering is over and he is finally at peace.
Paul F. O’Sullivan