My Great Sadness
I have been mulling this over for a while now and haven’t really figured out how to say what I want to say. On July 30 of this year one of my dearest friends would have been 36. I say would have been because we lost him to a brain tumor. On August 25 it will be seven years since the day he died.
This is not the first time that I have written about him and it will not be the last but it was prompted by my son. At 4.5 he is a little person who is very curious about everything around him. Strangely enough it was on Saturday (the 30th) that he noticed a picture of me and some friends.
In the picture ‘D’ is standing next to me so the little guy naturally wanted to know who was next to his abba. I told him that it was my friend ‘D’ and then he wanted to know when he would meet him. It caught me off guard and I said without thinking that he wouldn’t be able to. And then before I knew it I was back talking about death and what happens.
It is not the first time that my son and I have talked about this before and I expect that it will not be the last. He understands death better than he did but it still bothers him and I think that this time was tougher because it caught me off guard as did my feelings.
If you have read my blog for any length of time you have noticed that I am a crusty old man stuffed into a 30 something’s body. I am a bit of hardass but I do have some soft spots and sometimes it just hits me. And Saturday threw me a bit because for just a moment I felt a tear in my eye and crying is not something that I do well. Not to mention that he saw it, he caught me and he got nervous.
One of the things that I have worked hard to teach him is to be honest with his feelings because I don’t want him to struggle with this kind of stuff like his old man. But I also don’t want to unnecessarily upset him. He recently threatened a truck with destruction, courtesy of his daddy. In case you are wondering it was a full size truck that honked at us in a parking lot. It startled him and he reacted. I appreciate the fact that for a brief time I am his superman and with that in mind I am careful to try and show him that I am just a human being without making him worried about my ability to take care of him.
Anyway we spent a few minutes talking about death in great detail and then we played trains. But while we played I thought about ‘D’ with I suppose a wistful expression. He never knew me as a father, he died before the children were anything but a thought. He was not just a friend, but a brother and the world is a poorer place without him.
This Labor Day weekend his girlfriend is finally getting married and I am very happy for her. She made him quite happy and had he not died I am sure that they would have gotten married. It would have been fun to hang out as fathers and share stories of about our children. Now he is a part of my memories. A very important part but a memory nonetheless.
I remember the day that I realized that thinking about him didn’t hurt anymore. I was upset because the pain had become familiar but at the same time I was at peace with it because I knew that it was a necessary part of moving on.
I am sad and disappointed that he has missed sharing so many important moments with me. I miss having my consigliere but he is not forgotten. Life continues and he would have wanted it that way. In the interim I toast to his memory and offer a number of links to blog entries he played a role in:
The Long and Winding Road Part 1, 2, 3 and 4
Here is to you pal. I still love you and miss you. And as we promised you we have and will continue to look out for the family.
Anonymous June 9, 2006 at 9:58 am
its s0 sad..im s0 sad t0o..
Jack's Shack February 17, 2006 at 6:12 am
Thank you for your kind words.
swiftthinker February 17, 2006 at 2:34 am
I’m sorry for the loss of your friend but the nice part of this post is how a death can be such a shared experience with a child. Obviously not in a way of burdening them but my 5 year old offered me such comfort when I lost my father, it was really nice. I cried in front of my kids as I was alone with them when I got the news and my biggest empathizer since then has been my son. Out of pure innocence and non protocolness (if that’s a word) of a five year old, he offered me the perfect comfort. He didn’t try and come up with what he thought might help me. He asked me and continues to ask me what I think he can do to help me.
Jack's Shack August 2, 2005 at 8:12 pm
DR, or VM,
Not sure how to refer to you anymore. 😉 Thanks.
dorothy rothschild August 2, 2005 at 7:14 pm
This is so sad, Jack. Sorry.
Jack's Shack August 2, 2005 at 2:37 pm
Stacey August 2, 2005 at 12:55 pm
What a beautiful tribute to your friend.
It is just plain tragic when someone so young is robbed of their life.
Gavriel August 2, 2005 at 10:21 am
I’m sorry for the loss of your friend. I’ve lost a few as well and their memories still bubble up, although after awhile it becomes a comfort.
Great description: “I am a crusty old man stuffed into a 30 something’s body”.