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Archive for March, 2017

What is your grief journey like?

Grief.  It’s what we’ve been having for breakfast.  And lunch.  There may have been a  small side serving at dinner too.

Late in the first week of March, as I was preparing to leave work, I found out that someone I have known my entire adult life passed away.   I was in the middle of a conversation with my coworker when I got an alert on my phone, so I looked and it was a message on FB asking me if I had heard about our friend passing.  I immediately stopped the conversation and called another friend in California, looking for clarification.  I was devastated.   I just couldn’t believe it.  Actually, I still can’t believe it – but then I go to his FB profile and I see that it’s true.  The pain I felt when I found out he died was similar to the pain I felt when I found out Todd died and at one point the following day, I felt like it was worse than when Todd died.  I don’t know how true that is or if it was just feeling that way because it’s been almost 12 years since Todd passed.  The entire world seemed so much darker for me, it felt like I was gutted and then run over by a semi-truck.  It was horrible.  And if that was the pain *I* was going through?  I could only imagine how his family was feeling.  I lost my dad last year, at the end of this month, so it’s pretty raw for me still.  But his death was expected and I think that gives it a difference to a degree.  It didn’t make it any less painful, but it wasn’t unexpected and it wasn’t something I didn’t see coming.  This was something his family did not see coming.  It was sudden and it was unexpected.

I met Jef at the young age of 18 while I was working at Odyssey Records.  He was working at Boston Pizza across the street with his best friend, Mark.  Shortly after meeting them, chatting with them when I’d go over there for a break or calling and ordering food, we found out we were all on a bulletin board system (BBS) called Multi-Comm (it kind of predates the internet, similar to ICQ. chat rooms.)  A small group of us formed a tight circle.  We were all so close.  So young, silly, loyal, constantly together.  I say this almost every time I talk about him, but I think it’s awesome, so it must be repeated!  His daughter was the first baby that I ever changed a diaper on.  We had our differences, we had our similarities and we always had our loyalty towards each other.  There wasn’t much I wouldn’t do for that guy and his family.  He was one of my favorite people to walk this earth for any amount of time.  Before I moved to Louisville, we had lost contact.  But thanks to Facebook, we were reconnected shortly after I relocated.  When I would go back home, we would try to meet up for coffee.  Sometimes it didn’t work, sometimes it did.  I loved meeting at Starbucks at Desert Inn and Eastern, catching up and chatting for an hour or more before one of us would notice the time and had to go.  We disagreed on a lot of things, but we never let those disagreements take over our respect for each other as humans; as friends.

There was a celebration of life the weekend after he passed.  It was such last minute for me, I couldn’t make it there for that one.  But a mutual friend planned another one the following weekend and I was able to get some time off work and get back home to pay my respects to my dear friend and his family.  Three of us who live out of town all went into Vegas for the celebration.  It was amazing.  His daughter, his sister, and several of our old friends from Multi-Comm were there, including his best friend from when he was a child.  We cried a little and laughed a lot.  We shared stories, we did shots in his honor, we reminisced and we mourned together.

I will never forget the impact he had on me, as a person, and on my life overall.  Rest easy, my friend.  You’re work here is done.  We’ll take over the watch and be sure to watch out for us.  I’ll see you soon.

Until next time…