Monday, October 7, 2013

Dear Dude: 18 Months Later

Dear Dude,

It is hard to believe that it has been 18 months since you left this earth.  It is a struggle to believe that you are gone at all.  There are still days that it just seems like a horrible nightmare and I'll wake up from it all.  Still nights when I have to listen to your voicemail to fall asleep because I was so used to talking to you before I went to bed.  There are days when I just want to gchat you or call or wait for you to call and say, "Hurry up and get ready.  I'm coming!" 

I imagine it will always be like this to some degree. 

There are days when it seems like you've been gone for so long.  Days when I burst out laughing remembering something you said or did sometime.  Days when the pain is not so sharp; when the longing is not so desperate.  There are days when I feel like I am starting to adjust to all of this.  There are times when I "hear" you say, " I am here. I did not and will not leave you."  There are conversations that begin with "If Mike was here.....or Dude would totally dig that!"

I imagine it will always be like this to some degree, too. 

 So much is different yet so much is the same.  My/our friends continue to surround and support me unconditionally.  Memories of you come flooding in from others in the form of a story, old photos, a donation to your scholarship, or even just saying your name.  I love that they share these things with me.  And, DUDE!  Your scholarship!!  It's hard work, but you totally deserve it.  Everyone has been generous -- my family and friends who have never met you, people you touched on campus or people you knew in other ways.  Please echo my prayer to Jesus that that fund will soar and we will reach our goal by May 8th.  You deserve the best of the best, Dude, and I'll do everything I can to make that happen for you. 

You may be gone, but you are not forgotten.  Ever.  And you are so very loved.

I know it will always be that way.

Love, me


  1. I don't know if you're a fan of Stephen Colbert, but I just love this thing he said in an interview about a year ago, with a magazine neither you or I would probably pick up in a store (starts with a "P"), but it's actually a great interview - and they had this exchange about his two brothers and father dying:

    P: Your father and two brothers died when you were just 10.

    COLBERT: That’s right.

    P: They were on a commercial airliner that crashed while landing in thick fog. Your brothers were both teenagers, and your father was taking them to Connecticut to enroll them in private school. How did you make sense of their deaths?

    COLBERT: Things didn’t seem that important anymore. Nothing seemed that important anymore. My mother said to me—and I think she said this to all my brothers and sisters—she urged me to look at everything in the light of eternity. In other words, it doesn’t matter what I wear. I just wear the uniform of my youth. I wear an oxford-cloth shirt and khakis. What does it matter? What does it matter what I wear?

    P: As a 10-year-old boy who just lost his dad, that advice helped you?

    COLBERT: Sure, absolutely.

    P: It’s been almost four decades since it happened. Does the grief dissipate?

    COLBERT: No. It’s not as keen. Well, it’s not as present, how about that? It’s just as keen but not as present. But it will always accept the invitation. Grief will always accept the invitation to appear. It’s got plenty of time for you.

    P: “I’ll be here.”

    COLBERT: That’s right. “I’ll be here when you need me.” The interesting thing about grief, I think, is that it is its own size. It is not the size of you. It is its own size. And grief comes to you. You know what I mean? I’ve always liked that phrase He was visited by grief, because that’s really what it is. Grief is its own thing. It’s not like it’s in me and I’m going to deal with it. It’s a thing, and you have to be okay with its presence. If you try to ignore it, it will be like a wolf at your door.

    P: It’s a loud wolf. It huffs and it puffs.

    COLBERT: [Laughs] It does, doesn’t it? It can rattle the hinges.

    1. This is great....and so true. Thank you for sharing it. I will definitely remember it.


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