On Grief: The Shock

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Dad J.

This blog is part of a series. Read Part 1.

3/31/14 – Facebook

Can’t think. What do you say when someone who was another Dad to you dies. Greatest storyteller I ever met. A sniper in Vietnam. Sharpest eye and strongest punch (and that was when he was just messing around with you). Made me the strongest coffee I ever tasted. Liked his Dunkin Donuts coffee “tall, blonde and sweet.” Always had his famous soup ready when we visited from Kansas. Inspired and supported my husband when he decided to join the Marines. Loving Dad to his sons and to everyone who entered his front door. Loving husband. And if he was here he’d tell us all to “Stop crying, you damn Frenchmen.”

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Mr. J’s soup.

3/31/14 – Journal

A legend dies
and you pace around the building you work in
drink a too strong cup of coffee
like he used to make you
until your boss tells you to go home for the third time.

And you get in your car
and put on Johnny Cash’s “At Folsom Prison”
because it’s the closest thing to
That Voice
that you wish to hear so much now.
His voice was even deeper than Cash’s
if you can imagine it.

He beat Vietnam,
He beat cancer,
then he beat a house fire,
and you think how can he be gone.
But he is and all you can think is
you should have visited more.
That’s how you always feel.
You should have visited more
but how could you know.

You wish to hear his stories and jokes now
but all you can do is go to the liquor store
and get what he might think you’ll like.
You spend more than usual on the good stuff
because it’s a special occasion.
And you think life is a special occasion
we should drink the good stuff every day.

4/1/14 – Journal

Mr. J. died yesterday.

And what can you say by how can you ever repay someone who is one of the reasons you met your husband and is responsible for bringing forth some of the happiest moments in your life and your life’s happiness in general.

What can you say.

But goodbye.

And thank you.

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