From Natalie Duffy –

If there were more Paul Gallaghers out in the world it would be a more beautiful place. He was an extremely innovative, creative and talented man that touched the hearts of many. He treated all of us students like family and will forever remain close to my heart. Though he has now passed to the other side, I know he will always be with me whenever I sing. RIP Uncle Paul, Miss you so much.

Thoughts from students, friends and family

As sad as it was to hear the news of Paul’s death on New Year’s morning, many of his old friends were already coming to my house to celebrate the New Year. We were able to share the news, tell stories, look at old pictures, sing songs and raise a glass or two to Paul’s memory.

When I went up to bed that night I opened a new library book and found this quote on the first page.

And because I love this life

                                    I know I shall love death as well.

                                    The child cries when

                                    From the right breast the mother

                                    Takes it away, in the very next moment

                                    To find in the left one

                                    Its consolation

                                                      ~Rabinadranath Tagore, from “Gitanjali”

When such a good person suffers and dies I am reminded that all the good in my life comes not from merit. Because I did not see him often I will not “miss” his presence. But I am so sad knowing that he is not in the world – and so sad for you.

Much love 

 The celebration of Paul’s life was beautiful. Your words and that of his family, gave the rest of us who loved him more of him to know and continue loving. I think anyone who knew Paul could see and feel his love and devotion to you and it was wonderful.

 As for me, I don’t think any one person had been so unselfishly supportive of me, of who I could be or what I could accomplish than your husband. He really did see more in his students then we see in ourselves.

But while I will try to keep singing and remembering to support, bite the apple, smile at the right notes, I feel more like I have lost a dear friend. We have all been blessed to have had Paul in our lives.

My thoughts and prayers are and will continue to be with you.

Paul was very important and special to me as the person who truly helped me become what I wanted to be. While his life ended far too soon, he offered an example of how to live it well. I’m grateful to have known him. I’m thinking of you and wishing you peace and comfort and love.

I just wanted to take a minute and tell you how sorry we are to hear of Paul’s passing. There was a collective “sigh” from each employee. Paul has been a customer for as long as we can remember. He was always such a pleasant and patient man. He was a favorite of all. I feel so bad that he suffered all of these years. He will be missed by all of us as well as many others I am sure.

We are so sad to hear of Paul’s death and to think of how much patience and stamina it will take for you to adapt to life without him. But we are also happy thinking of the pleasure that you and he had at the NH cabin and the surrounding mountains. We will always think of you and Paul still climbing, hiking, running, swimming, breathing and drumming without limit! Our love and support to you. 

 I am so sorry to learn of Paul’s sudden passing. I am sure nothing could prepare you, and I know that no matter how long we spend with the person we love, it is never long enough!.

I wish for you the joy that (eventually) comes from remembering him.

While I think I may have only met Paul once, I will always have the best relaxation cassette of yours with his beautiful music in the background.

Wishing you love and peace, and sending warm thoughts your way.

I was so sorry to receive the news of Paul’s death. Though I never met him, his music and art reached into the [yoga] studio and somehow touched the lives of us there and completed our awareness of our own teacher.

My thoughts and sympathies are with you and the many people who cared for Paul at this time. I hope that Paul’s music and memories are at least a measure of comfort and sustenance.

I was a student of Paul’s and I want you to know how very, very sorry I am for you and for all of us about his death. He was my teacher for about 3 ½ years, and I enjoyed the lessons, the talks with him, and learning to sing so much. His praise meant a lot and when he told me only 11 days ago that he thought I had made a breakthrough, I was so thrilled – couldn’t wait to get back from a trip we’re taking tomorrow to go on and improve some more….

Besides simply missing my teacher and friend, I am so sorry for the teenagers who got so much out of their lessons and really loved Paul….I felt I knew them through the recitals, and I know how much they meant to Paul.

Please know that you and all of the students have my love and sympathy. This is such a tragedy.                 

                  With love.

I’m very sorry for your loss. It has been many years since I worked at Studio Yoga, but I remember that time fondly. Paul was a wonderful voice teacher and just the other day I found myself reminiscing and singing one of the songs he taught me. I was deeply saddened to hear the news – and my thoughts are with you. Your love for each other was so apparent and obvious to anyone who knew you.

May your heart and soul find peace and comfort.

With caring thoughts.

Paul has been such a special part of my life. Many years ago our family stayed at your parent’s inn. When your mom heard me sing she told me about Paul. I’m so thankful that she did.

 Paul has been the perfect teacher for me. His background in composition as well as his awareness of popular music helped me grow in the area of my great musical passions.

He openly shared with my about his medical challenges. His suffering was so great, that at least he is in peace now.

 I am sorry that I was not able to be a part of the memorial service. I know that everyone there feels a void as deep as mine.

 My heart goes out to you…

Paul was my daughter’s voice teacher. When she came to him she was insecure, unpopular with her peers and bullied at school. She had ADD and was unable to adapt to the social demands of adolescence. Music and singing helped her escape her tormentors. Because of Paul and his gentle, tolerant and encouraging ways, he helped my daughter overcome these social obstacles.

Today my daughter has a fabulous job, many friends and is completely successful in every way. Although she did not pursue a career in music, singing and listening to music continue to give her special joy.

Because of Paul, and others like him, my daughter is a confident, beautiful adult. I thank God for people with this special gift – to bring out the best in people. He will be missed terribly by the many people whose lives he has touched.

I was so moved by the beautiful memorial service which you arranged and seemed to take on a life of its own. I attended to show my support for you. I left there encouraged to live life more fully. Like most of your students, I didn’t know Paul. However, the lives he touched reached me nonetheless. Your bravery in exposing your love and grief was amazing and inspiring. I am so lucky to have shared that special experience. It reminds all of us how linked together we are in our progress through this world. Remember that you also touch many lives. Just as his students said, his voice will always be with you.

There are no words to express my sorrow for your loss. Paul and I were acquainted for many years, as I have continually sent my students – my best students – to the best voice teacher I knew.

Every student Paul worked with loved him and valued their time with him. He not only taught them music, but gave them confidence, joy, and a role model to look up to – kind, talented, and personable. We will all miss his presence at our concerts and musicals. At the end of every production, Paul would always wait for the crowd to clear and would come over to me to thank me for the students I sent him. Now I’d like to thank you for “loaning” him to me – he was – and will remain in spirit – an important legacy to the success of the CHS choral program. May God bless you. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

 We want to extend to you our deepest sympathy in the profound loss of your beloved husband and our beloved friend/mentor/voice teacher of our daughter. It is no understatement to say that Paul was one of the most important people in her life. We brought her to Paul in the fall of her 7th grade year and, because of Paul, she landed a leading role in the Chatham Middle School musical. AND PAUL ATTENDED THE SHOW!!! (As he did for each of his students!) Paul not only coached her musically, he coached her theatrically, as well. Paul was a musical genius!!. Yet, he was so humble. Whenever students took from Paul, they rose to the top. Because of Paul’s incredible guidance and teaching, our daughter enjoyed countless local honors: #1 in Northern New Jersey, #3 in the state, leading roles in the musicals, etc. And he always cheered her on and made her feel so special. In her college years she took lessons from him during school breaks.

 We have been incredibly blessed as a family to have known Paul and to have had his invaluable musical guidance for our daughter. She took his passing very hard….As much as we grieve over Paul’s passing, you must feel it 1 million times more.

I was a student of your husband some 13 years ago. He was so instrumental in me pursuing a professional singing career. I was stunned by your loss and wanted to express my deep and sincere sympathies. I will always remember your beloved’s gifts and pearls of wisdom he shared with me. Please know that you have so many people praying for you as you deal with this tremendous loss.

I looked up the obituaries I could find on the internet, and it seemed like a beautiful ceremony at the yoga loft, that you managed to arrange.

 It was made very clear, how much Paul cared for his students and what a wise, I dare say, person he was. Also his extremely demanding musical style, both when it comes to individual choices and technique in performance, was a strong statement. I appreciate high individuality a lot, and that was probably the reason why I wanted to study with Paul.

…I have always known what nice people you and Paul are – ever since I first met you guys when we came up to see “Sitting Like a Cat”. Your husband is a beautiful person and artist. The love between the two of you was always very apparent, and it was also always clear that he is a brilliant musician and composer…..

Only a few days ago did I learn of Paul’s passing after reading about it online. I cannot even find words to express my sadness. Even though we’ve been out of touch for several years, both of you were often in my thoughts and I always looked forward to a time when we would meet again.

I will always hold him close in my heart, and remember him with love and gratitude for his friendship, wisdom, irreverent sense of humor, the depth of his perception, his appreciation of beauty, boundless creativity, his kind and generous heart, and his steadfast devotion to you.

 I’m also holding you in my heart and prayers. It’s hard to fathom the loss you must feel. I hope you are surrounded by loving friends and family, and finding your way back to peace….

I remember Paul as a seeker of god, a gentle soul, radiant in meditation with wide, twinkling eyes, crystalline blue, and as a man passionately in love with you. I hope that he found much joy and peace in his spiritual practices, in his love for you, and through his wildly creative and expressive vocal and instrumental compositions.

I am deeply saddened to hear of Paul’s passing and am wishing you all the peace and comfort you can find in this time of great sorrow and transition.