Two goodbyes, entirely too soon.

There’s no easy loss, and there’s never a “good” time to say goodbye to a loved one. That said, this week we’re saying goodbye to two souls who were intricate parts of my sisters’ and my childhoods, and who each brought something special to their families, to their loved ones, and to everyone lucky enough to meet them: They each created joy. Steve Dennis was one of my Dad’s bandmates for many years, and a housemate/soul brother, at that. As kids, my sisters {Read More}

Two years.

Hi, Dad. It’s been two years since you died. It’s weird; typing “died” feels so harsh, so final. Like it’s rude to acknowledge it in that word. But I’m not feeling particularly fanciful, so neither “passed on” nor “departed” or “shuffled off” are words that feel right to me today. Honestly, using “died” doesn’t feel right to me either, on a number of levels. I know I don’t have to over-explain this one; I never had to with you, pretty much {Read More}

To my Dad, one year gone.

Hi, Dad. So, I miss you. You know this. I know you know this because I’m always telling you this. And you respond in the ways that folks who are desperate for signs are sure to notice; the warmth of a hand on a shoulder, a puffy, heart-shaped cloud on a completely clear day, a third playing of Boz Scagg’s “Lido Shuffle” on major airwaves in 24 hours… This first year without you has been gigantic. And endless. And lightning {Read More}

Rest well, Jef.

I’m not entirely certain what the saints and angels are up to these days, but they seriously need to lay off with the taking of the best and brightest souls. Jeffrey Smith died yesterday morning, after a multi-decades long battle with cancer (cancers, really), and a lightning-fast stint with hospice care. The hospice seemed so, so short- maybe in comparison with his unfairly long battle, but in actuality probably because there would never be a good time to say goodbye to this {Read More}

Puzzles, grief & yelling at screens.

My Dad and I used to collectively pull out our hair over puzzle games. We uttered angry, not-so-nice words at the computer screen while staring down images of Myst. We reveled in various games’  unlocked achievements, cascaded tiles, deciphered secret codes, and manipulated picture frames that somehow became castle keys. We had entire text conversations which consisted of “This level./I KNOW.” When my Dad first got sick, I sent him The Room, a stunning and immersive game- the kind that made {Read More}

Six months later. (A Dad recap.)

My Dad, my first hero, died six months ago yesterday. Six months. At times, it’s felt like a blur. At others, it’s been an exercise in holding my breath, bracing for the pain, working out the cramps when I can. Sometimes I click on his Spotify icon, just to see if “daveflynn425” has listened to anything of note lately. To see if maybe there’s any record of those daily playlists we listened to during his chemo and hospice time. Like {Read More}

Grief. And Other Things I Can’t Control.

I am by no means a grief expert. I am by no means an anything expert. Except for mid-50s to mid-90s rock trivia. In that scenario, I’ve practically got a PhD. Which is not as frequently helpful as you might suspect. And even in terms of emotions, I’m okay at that. (P.J. would probably say that I’m exceptional at that. “Emotions.” As in “having them loudly.” “A lot.”) But working through them in functional ways that make linear sense? Yeah, {Read More}