Tom set sail on 7th November 1991

Tom was born Touko Laaksonen in Kaarina, Finland in 1920.

Because of his illness, when the artist could no longer draw, he knew it was his time to depart.

The last time Tom took pencil to paper.

TOM OF FINLAND (Touko Laaksonen, Finnish, 1920 – 1991), Untitled (Preparatory drawing), 1991, Graphite on paper, 11.63” x 8.25”, Tom of Finland Foundation, © 1991 Tom of Finland Foundation

It was so important to provide Tom the dignity of being in his own home, to be on his own schedule so he could choose, with a sense of self-determination, control over his own death.

Though Tom was in a hospital bed, rather than his own bed as he had intended, he ultimately succeeded in his design. May we learn from this and permit those who choose to navigate their own vessel into the sea, to do so with respect. 

-Durk Dehner

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