Brian Urlacher's Mother, Lavoyda, Passes Away at 51

Brian Urlacher's Mother, Lavoyda, Passes Away at 51

DaBearsBlog would like to offer our condolences to Brian Urlacher on the loss of his mother, Lavoyda, at the startling age of fifty-one.  Lavoyda had Brian at the age of sixteen, worked her ass off for him and he's greatly credited her for his enormous success.

While we certainly hope Brian will be there patrolling the middle of the field Sunday in New Orleans, we hope he'll take whatever time necessary for his family.

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  • First to offer condolences to my favorite Bear.

  • First to say as much as I want B.U. out there on Sunday, he needs to do what he thinks is best for him and his family. If that is sitting this one out, then so be it.

  • + 1 & then some, good on ya Jeff for the condolences.

  • In reply to Sdwat52:

    Yeah, class stuff from DBB.

  • I find that people react differently when something terrible happens like this. Some find the distraction of work or friends necessary while some do not feel they can function properly. No right or wrong, and the the reactions are certainly understandable.

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    So sorry Brian

  • I hope he's fueled up by this and looks like Bobby Bouche from the waterboy on Sunday.

  • I wouldn't blame him or think less of him for sitting this one out. Life is short and we don't know when it's going to end so all we can do is live the hell out of our lives.

    RIP Mrs. Urlacher

  • Condolences to Brian in the astronomical chance that he reads this blog.

    Besides Sweetness and Da Coaches (Halas and Ditka), he might be my fav Bear cause he's of my generation.

    Here's to hoping he pulls a Favre MNF when his dad died and racks up 20 Tackles, 5 TKFL, 4 FF, 3 FR and 2Ints!

    BTW, I can almost guarantee he's going to play Sunday, esp with Olin lining up. Olin's the type of guy who would show up Sunday in a wheel-chair, and 'Lach knows it.

    After the Aints beat down in the dome, I expect a moving scene between Lach and Olin after the game.

    Bear down!

  • There's no doubt in my mind this team will find inspiration in Brian's loss and they will rally around their leader in a moving sign of support. Bear down Brian, we've got your back.

  • You know that post I left on the last thread about wanting brees to get hit in the first series like the dude in the CFL...

    I take it back...

    I want him to get hit like the same dude, but in THIS game instead:

  • Wow, that is horribly young - I will turn that age tomorrow. Brian, God bless you and please accept our heartfelt condolences to you and your family. Coincidentally, today is the day both my parents died, 5 years apart, now 21 and 16 years ago, can't believe that much time has passed.

    Jeff, I will echo everyone to say your last post was just awesome. So how many Bear Jews are we up to? Just two?

    I agreed with everything in that post. I wish I even knew who Nick Reed was before that game. He was excellent, and Henry Melton looks like the real deal. BTW I've always thought that the secret to Tommie's early success was an uncanny ability to jump the snap count (in fact there were many times I was sure he was offsides but not called). I wonder if other teams figured that out and changed what they were doing.

    I too thought Chris Spencer did very good work at guard. The line looked better later than it did earlier.

    That was the most fun opening game since Rex Grossman wowed us in 2006. I hope that we have just as much fun against the Saints. At middle school football practice with my son and another of the assistant coaches who is a Packers fan, I wondered aloud as to what would happen if the Bears destroyed the Saints in New Orleans rather than having to hold them off for a win in Green Bay -- what would the world, and the Green Bay Packers, think then?

    I know I'm getting greedy here. So what? As I told a fellow Bear fan, if you can't be optimistic at the beginning of a season after your team absolutely destroyed a 13-3 playoff team, when can you be optimistic?

    Boys (and girls) - I AM WILDLY BEARAMISTIC!!!!!! (who remembers when we coined that term? Anyone? Shady?)

    Brian, I hope you play on Sunday, we need you brother, but we all will understand if you can't, and again, thoughts and prayers all to you.

    BEAR DOWN!!!!!!

  • In reply to PhilfromSATX:

    Ah yes, bearamistic. Man I love this blog.

  • In reply to PhilfromSATX:

    Uhhh bearamistic sounds much more like 'pessimistic' than 'optimistic' (bear market, bull market). Furthermore, taking into consideration the attitude of the Chicago media along with the eternally suffering north side bear cubs, I'm afraid that term would have a hard time maintaining a positive connotation

  • In reply to thebigcheese:

    Taking care of business in NOLA, and then we're comin' back for the Fudgers ....

  • In reply to PhilfromSATX:

    Happy birthday and here's to the memory of your folks Phil ....

    Bear down.

  • It's really tough when you lose Mom. I am pretty sure he will play Sunday. Because of the support she gave him, and the sacrifices she made for him, I'm sure he will play to honor her sacrifices in life that put him in the position he is in now.

  • Sam Hurd and J Webb on 670 The Score.

    This is your chance to call in Irish! I'd love to hear what you would tell Webb

  • In reply to 4ever85:

    If Irish made it on the air, I have this feeling that other topics would come flying out before Webb...for the 15 seconds before the line got cut.

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    Yeah, abolish that damn Federal Reserve!

  • In reply to 4ever85:

    "J'Marcus, read the three letters on your jersey sleeve son and then live up to them. Every time you line up for a pass play , look over at Jay Christopher and imagine he's your infant son. If it's a running play, imagine it's your mother holding that infant and your job is top protect them from the wild dogs in your way. And don't fuck up."


  • What a beautiful difference one life has made......
    we are all mysteriously one
    her beauty will live with us forever

    I am puzzled by this life we all lead sometimes
    when I remember how high we were last weekend
    and now we see this wonderful presence fade from sight...
    and bring pain to someone we love and respect
    it reminds me to love those around me in a visible way with more abandon every moment
    that is all one can ever do ....

    death was on my mind today and now I see it in my world
    i listened to these 2 songs from Dylan's, " OH Mercy" cd on my zune while on my route today
    Most of the time...and
    shooting star
    they were my comfort when I lost my daughter
    somehow it is all coming back and my eyes are wet
    I am so sorry brian

  • In reply to huntinbare:

    That was cool bare, thanks.

  • In reply to huntinbare:

    Very beautiful huntinbare!

  • Only 51...that is young! My condolences to the Urlacher's for their loss. Lost my Mom 30yrs. ago when she was 58.
    Somehow I think Mr Brian will be there Sunday. Seems from what I've read that Mom had to have been a dedicated Lady to overcome the difficulties that seem to find her, and raise three kids.
    I think if he skips the game. Mom may come back and kick his hiney!

  • I came across this saturday applies to us all....

  • There's no doubt that losing a parent, especially mom (I imagine), is hard. What makes this death likely even harder for Brian, is how young and seemingly sudden this death was. When a parent dies after a long life or even a long illness, as Irish can attest, one can rest in the comfort of the deceased long overdue peace. But like when someone is taken early because of an accident or an act of violence, losing his mother so suddenly has to be an absolute shock. No preparation time. No final conversations. Just sudden, horrible, tragedy.

    Sweetness is probably every bears fan favorite of all time. But Brian Urlacher has been the undisputed face of this franchise for 11 years. He's a hall of famer in my book. I hope he knows his fans number in the millions. And they are vehement.

    Peace be with you, Lavoyda, Brian and family.

  • In reply to Doc Nitty 34:

    Well said.

  • In reply to Doc Nitty 34:

    Agreed - well put, Doc.

  • In reply to Doc Nitty 34:

    Well said Doc. 51 is too young, and such a beautiful lady. He'll be out there, I know he will, and I wouldn't want to be in his way when he is.

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    Brain, our thoughts and prayers are with you. You don't know me although I met you at your dad's funeral here in the Tri-Cities. I used to farm with you mom and dad back in the 70's. I used to ride bikes with your dad. As I look back, I still have a ton of positive memories. We had a lot of fun together before the move to New Mexico. Remember the good times Brian, and know you have a lot of fans who are with you during these hard times. Next time your in the Tri-Cities I would love to sit and chat with you about your dad and mom and the fun times we shared while farming together. Take care. Paul Gravelle Sr.

  • Brian, if by chance you read here, this comforted me somewhat when my wife succumbed to leukemia at 48. She and your mom both set sail too early...

    Gone From My Sight
    by Henry Van Dyke

    I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
    spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
    for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
    I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
    of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

    Then, someone at my side says, "There, she is gone"

    Gone where?

    Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
    hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
    And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

    Her diminished size is in me -- not in her.
    And, just at the moment when someone says, "There, she is gone,"
    there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
    ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!"

    And that is dying...

  • In reply to SC Dave:

    this is why I love this sight

  • Take care to mend fences while you can boys. You never know when that call will come concerning a loved one. Don't forget to tell em how much they mean to you.

  • No love for the Bears D in FF football this week. They sporting a -1 forecast. Bully I say, bully.

  • Rest in peace Lavoyda ....

    There are things that we don't want to happen but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn, and people we can't live without but have to let go.

    Brian, the seed in your heart shall blossom .....

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    You and your family will be in my prayers. whittier ca

  • Amen........

  • Just wondering if the information that Jeff Hughes has provided is correct. He stated that Brian Urlacher's mom had him when she was 16yrs old. Well I actually beg to differ because if she died at the age of 51 and Brian Urlacher is 33 (DOB May 25, 1978) then that does not add up. I'd say she had him when she was 18yrs old. I know this may not seem important to some but I would want people to get the facts right if they were writing something about my beloved mother.

    Brian may God bless you and your family during this most difficult time. You are in my prayers. Be strong brother! Peace and much respect to you! God bless your beautiful mother!

  • In reply to chriscross:,0,3889143.story

  • 1) First and foremost. Heartfelt condolences to Lach and his family. I hope you get the opportunity to spend time with the ones you love and can come back to the Bears in good spirits. Very cool of you Paul Gravelle for posting above. I hope Lach sees it and looks you up.

    2) Recalling the Jew discussion. I would be curious to know how many of the players in the Wikipedia article are halachically Jewish (Jewish mothers) and how many have Jewish blood. I think we'll see a lot more Jewish basketball players in the years to come as the Israeli league is quite competitive. Ditto for soccer.

  • In reply to NewBearInTown:

    Wow, yeah, just went back to the 'dead' thread. Mang, that kicked off again nicely. 9/11. Jew-gate. awesome.

  • Brian,

    It cannot be easy to lose someone so close and so loved. My prayers are with you and your family. Do not think you have lost her, rather she is just not here. Someday, you will see her again...and I promise you...that will be a GOOD day.

    God bless.

  • I feel for Brain at this time of need. He needs to worry about his family right now and people need to stop wondering if he is going to play sunday. The only question I have is if Brain is 33 and his mom passed away at 51 how did she have him at 16?

  • In reply to fmfdoc413:

    who fucking cares douchebag. that's your biggest concern? You mean you/re not more concerned with any spelling errors in the actual blog post?

  • I have an essay, probably shouldn't share it but I will anyway. It's by a guy who is dying of ALS (Lou Gehrigs), and he takes a trip to Turkey to kill himself. Sounds morose, but in it is a mediation of the transitory nature of life, and of self-determination in one's end. That the guy is a homosexual may be a turn-off to the wingers on this blog. So be it. The guy has more guts than all but a few people I met in this life, and I respect him for it. I pull it up and read it from time to time. Someday, my Chautauqua will come, and we all should hope to go as he did.

    Well, here it is. I have my flamesuit on, which is to say, I'll just ignore any negative reactions, so keep them to yourself.


    I HAVE wonderful friends. In this last year, one took me to Istanbul. One gave me a box of hand-crafted chocolates. Fifteen of them held two rousing, pre-posthumous wakes for me. Several wrote large checks. Two sent me a boxed set of all the Bach sacred cantatas. And one, from Texas, put a hand on my thinning shoulder, and appeared to study the ground where we were standing. He had flown in to see me.
    “We need to go buy you a pistol, don’t we?” he asked quietly. He meant to shoot myself with.
    “Yes, Sweet Thing,” I said, with a smile. “We do.”
    I loved him for that.
    I love them all. I am acutely lucky in my family and friends, and in my daughter, my work and my life. But I have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or A.L.S., more kindly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, for the great Yankee hitter and first baseman who was told he had it in 1939, accepted the verdict with such famous grace, and died less than two years later. He was almost 38.
    I sometimes call it Lou, in his honor, and because the familiar feels less threatening. But it is not a kind disease. The nerves and muscles pulse and twitch, and progressively, they die. From the outside, it looks like the ripple of piano keys in the muscles under my skin. From the inside, it feels like anxious butterflies, trying to get out. It starts in the hands and feet and works its way up and in, or it begins in the muscles of the mouth and throat and chest and abdomen, and works its way down and out. The second way is called bulbar, and that’s the way it is with me. We don’t live as long, because it affects our ability to breathe early on, and it just gets worse.
    At the moment, for 66, I look pretty good. I’ve lost 20 pounds. My face is thinner. I even get some “Hey, there, Big Boy,” looks, which I like. I think of it as my cosmetic phase. But it’s hard to smile, and chew. I’m short of breath. I choke a lot. I sound like a wheezy, lisping drunk. For a recovering alcoholic, it’s really annoying.
    There is no meaningful treatment. No cure. There is one medication, Rilutek, which might make a few months’ difference. It retails for about $14,000 a year. That doesn’t seem worthwhile to me. If I let this run the whole course, with all the human, medical, technological and loving support I will start to need just months from now, it will leave me, in 5 or 8 or 12 or more years, a conscious but motionless, mute, withered, incontinent mummy of my former self. Maintained by feeding and waste tubes, breathing and suctioning machines.
    No, thank you. I hate being a drag. I don’t think I’ll stick around for the back half of Lou.
    I think it’s important to say that. We obsess in this country about how to eat and dress and drink, about finding a job and a mate. About having sex and children. About how to live. But we don’t talk about how to die. We act as if facing death weren’t one of life’s greatest, most absorbing thrills and challenges. Believe me, it is. This is not dull. But we have to be able to see doctors and machines, medical and insurance systems, family and friends and religions as informative — not governing — in order to be free.
    And that’s the point. This is not about one particular disease or even about Death. It’s about Life, when you know there’s not much left. That is the weird blessing of Lou. There is no escape, and nothing much to do. It’s liberating.
    I began to slur and mumble in May 2010. When the neurologist gave me the diagnosis that November, he shook my hand with a cracked smile and released me to the chill, empty gray
    parking lot below.
    It was twilight. He had confirmed what I had suspected through six months of tests by other specialists looking for other explanations. But suspicion and certainty are two different things. Standing there, it suddenly hit me that I was going to die. “I’m not prepared for this,” I thought. “I don’t know whether to stand here, get in the car, sit in it, or drive. To where? Why?” The pall lasted about five minutes, and then I remembered that I did have a plan. I had a dinner scheduled in Washington that night with an old friend, a scholar and author who was feeling depressed. We’d been talking about him a lot. Fair enough. Tonight, I’d up the ante. We’d talk about Lou.

    The next morning, I realized I did have a way of life. For 22 years, I have been going to therapists and 12-step meetings. They helped me deal with being alcoholic and gay. They taught me how to be sober and sane. They taught me that I could be myself, but that life wasn’t just about me. They taught me how to be a father. And perhaps most important, they taught me that I can do anything, one day at a time.
    Including this.
    I am, in fact, prepared. This is not as hard for me as it is for others. Not nearly as hard as it is for Whitney, my 30-year-old daughter, and for my family and friends. I know. I have experience.
    I was close to my old cousin, Florence, who was terminally ill. She wanted to die, not wait. I was legally responsible for two aunts, Bessie and Carolyn, and for Mother, all of whom would have died of natural causes years earlier if not for medical technology, well-meaning systems and loving, caring hands.
    I spent hundreds of days at Mother’s side, holding her hand, trying to tell her funny stories. She was being bathed and diapered and dressed and fed, and for the last several years, she looked at me, her only son, as she might have at a passing cloud.
    I don’t want that experience for Whitney — nor for anyone who loves me. Lingering would be a colossal waste of love and money.
    If I choose to have the tracheotomy that I will need in the next several months to avoid choking and perhaps dying of aspiration pneumonia, the respirator and the staff and support system necessary to maintain me will easily cost half a million dollars a year. Whose half a million, I don’t know.
    I’d rather die. I respect the wishes of people who want to live as long as they can. But I would like the same respect for those of us who decide — rationally — not to. I’ve done my homework. I have a plan. If I get pneumonia, I’ll let it snuff me out. If not, there are those other ways. I just have to act while my hands still work: the gun, narcotics, sharp blades, a plastic bag, a fast car, over-the-counter drugs, oleander tea (the polite Southern way), carbon monoxide, even helium. That would give me a really funny voice at the end.
    I have found the way. Not a gun. A way that’s quiet and calm.
    Knowing that comforts me. I don’t worry about fatty foods anymore. I don’t worry about having enough money to grow old. I’m not going to grow old.
    I’m having a wonderful time.
    I have a bright, beautiful, talented daughter who lives close by, the gift of my life. I don’t know if she approves. But she understands. Leaving her is the one thing I hate. But all I can do is to give her a daddy who was vital to the end, and knew when to leave. What else is there? I spend a lot of time writing letters and notes, and taping conversations about this time, which I think of as the Good Short Life (and Loving Exit), for WYPR-FM, the main NPR station in Baltimore. I want to take the sting out of it, to make it easier to talk about death. I am terribly behind in my notes, but people are incredibly patient and nice. And inviting. I have invitations galore.
    Last month, an old friend brought me a recording of the greatest concert he’d ever heard, Leonard Cohen, live, in London, three years ago. It’s powerful, haunting music, by a poet, composer and singer whose life has been as tough and sinewy and loving as an old tree.
    The song that transfixed me, words and music, was “Dance Me to the End of Love.” That’s the way I feel about this time. I’m dancing, spinning around, happy in the last rhythms of the life I love. When the music stops — when I can’t tie my bow tie, tell a funny story, walk my dog, talk with Whitney, kiss someone special, or tap out lines like this — I’ll know that Life is over.
    It’s time to be gone.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Beautiful and sad. Great share GP. Made me think of Jack Kevorkian and the wringer they put him through. All he wanted to do was help people like this die on their own terms.

    Seeing the word 'Chautauqua' made me think of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I've only read it about ten times. Time for another read.

    There can't be a better football blog on the web.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    Thanks GP. I lost my mentor and great friend to ALS about 4 months ago. One of the most horrible things I've ever seen. He went fast, within a year. He too, knew when to bow out gracefully.

    I'd like to send this to his widow... do you have some dets for me? Thanks my man.

  • In reply to MB30SD:

    damn it Irish, now you have me fucking DeadPosting. Arse.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    i read "Tuesdays With Morrie" by Mitch Albom

    this reads alot like that
    People with ALS are so wise......death seems to be the greatest professor for some of us

    it has taught me volumes
    I love music and enjoyed those parts of the narrative gpl
    I was moved to reality by this many thanks

    this may sound wierd... but when i encounter this deep shit it makes me feel like I have had a full day
    sometimes modern culture leaves me wanting is just not that filling

    thanks for all the work bringing this to us

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    From a former resident of Lea County NM., to the Urlacher Family. Prayers and more Prayers as you heal.

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