loss

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David Cole Reynolds 1966-2016

Saying Goodbye to an Old Friend

Today I am attending the funeral of my childhood friend, Dave.  Much like a brother, Dave would taunt me relentlessly.  He would laugh with me and joke around.  He would often threaten to beat up misbehaving boyfriends or anyone that made me upset.  When Dave smiled his whole face smiled and his chuckle infected everyone around him until they, themselves joined in the laughter.  Dave was the first boy to ask me to marry him.   He would tell me that all he needs is a good woman and he would straighten up  and do right.  I suspect he slung his arm around many a young lady and professed the same.  That was Dave – but it was nice.

I have known loss in my life.  Great loss, in fact.  My mother, Grandparents, my mother – students and former students, my mother, other relatives and acquaintances – did I mention my mother?  But this one begins a new chapter for me – this is my first real friend to go to the grave.  It hurts and confuses me greatly in unexpected ways.  Of course it hurts.  But the unexpected confusion compounds the impact of the loss.

Dave died at 49.  49…my mom died when she was 49.  This age – this fact affects me and I do not understand why.  Maybe my being here has nothing to do with Dave at all, but with the loss of my mother. I remember him playfully hitting on her, too.

Even though he remained one of my bother’s best friends, I have not seen Dave in over a decade.  But his life so touched mine during our youth that it seems as if he just left my house.   I regret not visiting Dave in the last days of his life.  It seems ridiculous to make the trip for the funeral now, but not for the life last week.  Selfish, too, I suppose.  I could not bare to see him in any other fashion than what is pictured above.  Healthy, smiling, happy.  Surprisingly, his death brought me back to my hometown.  I moved from this town shortly after my mother’s death in 1993 and have not really been back since then.  The rest of my family lives elsewhere so there really has not been a reason to return.  Until now.  I imagine Dave’s family will be a bit confused to see me and not my brothers.  I need them to know what he meant to me.  I need them to know it, and I need to say it.  I feel the loss.

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