This post is more a chain of thoughts written at the Husbear. I post it here because maybe it will help me. I’ve had a difficult time over the last few hours especially, and had to remove myself from the public because I started crying all of a sudden and couldn’t stop.

While I cannot truly imagine what it would be like living without you, it’s something I have been forced to think about with Tory’s death. And while there have been several close calls from accidents you’ve had in the past that made me briefly ponder it, this situation pretty much ripped the door off of the hinges for me. And now it’s all I have been able to think about since that phone call early Sunday morning.

Tory’s death made me realize that I’ve never had anyone this close to me die before. While I’ve had all my grandparents die, I’ve never lost anyone who was—by choice—this close of a friend to me. Friend isn’t an accurate word. Let’s go with “family”. Because that’s what Tory and Dwayne are. They’re our family. Which is part of why this stays the focus of my thoughts. I feel like I’ve lost a brother. And it hurts immensely.

I still feel the shock of you flying out of bed when Dwayne called early Sunday morning. I don’t even remember the words you spoke into the phone as you talked to Dwayne. I just remember thinking this had to be some sort of joke to get us to New Orleans sooner so we could be with them. And then I could see it in your face—that look of disbelief—and how physically sick I felt instantly. Then holding you close to me, selfishly, and then thinking that was something Dwayne would never be able to do again with Tory.

Besides just the mental and physical shock of it, there’s also all the what-ifs I would think about. Especially if it was an untimely and unexpected death like Tory’s. Could something have been done to mitigate it? What if I had done one thing instead of another? What if I had made you go to the doctor instead of not? Yes, I know it’s the “what-if game”, but these are still thoughts I would have. Because you know that’s how my brain is wired.

And then thinking this occurred in a strange town. Not knowing anyone. What if that was the case for me? It would be bad enough if it occurred back home, but in some place where I had no familiarity at all? And no one that I knew? Luckily we were able to get there in an hour or so to be with Dwayne, but what if that hadn’t been the case?

Having to be the bearer of bad news. When we called other friends to let them know. The Facebook post. And how many times have we—and will we—get asked by people who haven’t heard yet: “Hey, where’s Tory and Dwayne?” the very thing that drove me to write this post. Yes, the reply gets a little rote sounding after a bit, but it still has to be said and dealt with each time someone asks. I can’t imagine what it’s like for Dwayne to have to answer the “Where’s Tory?” question.

Then there is all the things I don’t want to have to think about: funeral arrangements; financial and business matters. Yes, we can pre-plan for some of that, and we will revisit that when we get home. But it’s still something that seems awkward to have to focus on in the moment. Especially when there’s already a deep hole in your heart.

All the memories. Just looking at your toothbrush, or a rock, or the pets, or the smell of you on your pillow would all be a reminder of you. And the photographs and digital memories that exist in places like Facebook. I hear with time that gets easier to deal with. But I imagine it’s something that will always tear a hole in my heart.

There are times I can’t stop crying, and times I’m totally angry. I just know I hurt for Dwayne right now.

And myself, as selfish as that sounds.

Until next time...

12 thoughts on “Demise

  1. There’s nothing selfish about mourning the death of a great friend. You go ahead and have yourself a good cry.

  2. My thoughts are with you, Erik. Having lived through the horrific late 80s and 90s (and residing in SF on top it), I attended more than my share of funerals. It never gets easy, but time does heal.

    I can totally relate to what you’re feeling about the Husbear. I had always assumed that because of the age difference between Ben and I, I would be the first to go. But when he had a little episode a few weeks ago that landed us in the ER, it brought into very sharp focus the fact that might not be the case, and that either of us could go at any time—and for the most stupid of reasons. We have yet to put anything in place for such an eventuality, but your recent events have energized the need for us to do it—and sooner rather than later.

    Thank you for sharing your grief with us. It is a much-needed reminder to the living to cherish each and every day we spend together.

    1. Thank you, Mark.

      I guess I haven’t been paying as much attention to the blogs and social networks as of late as I should have. But I hope Ben is okay!

      Is it wrong if I say I’m glad to hear that it doesn’t get easier? That the death of any friend/choosen family member would no longer leave this kind of impact on someone seems a horrible thing.

      As I sat and thought about it, Tory is the first person I’ve known directly that has died, aside from grandparents and an aunt. Which seems odd to me considering I’m almost 40 years old. Maybe I don’t know enough people.

  3. Losing someone is always hard, but the ‘first’ is the most devastating. Your emotions become you. In my experience, words are lame and useless during these times. I am glad you have others to be with you. Your memory of him combined with a new zeal for Life and Love will be his monument.

    1. Thank you, Spo. You are definitely correct on how words are lame and useless. I’ve not found any way to even begin to express myself in an accurate manner of how this has affected me. Maybe one of these days. Maybe.

  4. There’s nothing strange or unusual about what you are feeling — it tells me a great deal about the depth of your relationship with and love for the Husbear. It’;s something I think about, too. Fritz and I met later in life than most couples and he’s 13 years older than I, as in Mark’s case. I try to focus more on the transforming nature of our relationship and the fact that each of us feels that these years are the happiest of his life. The inevitable is the inevitable and will have to be faced by one or the other of us eventually. It is the unavoidable cost of giving one’s heart and investing in the other’s happiness. Just love each other, that’s all you can do and the more you love, the more you will have to keep him alive inside your heart and mind when he’s gone.

    1. It’s difficult to imagine why we as humans evolved to allow ourselves to hurt so much when we open our heart up to others. Then again, I guess maybe that’s what makes us human.

  5. I have only condolences to offer. No answers. No advice. Just a wish that I could be there to offer a hug and share a good cry with you. I hurt for you both that you are experiencing this and for your chosen family. There is nothing crueler in life than to lose a loved one and all your fears and worries are completely understandable. Wishing you strength to endure and to heal. *hug*

    1. Thank you for your thoughts and for the digital hug. And I’d definitely take real ones if we were closer in distance.

      I wonder if we treat death differently when we get old(er), as in “he lived a long full life” versus “he was young and his life was cut short”. Is one more… allowable and less painful than the other?

  6. Well written Eric! It just goes to show how important it is to let those around us know how we feel about them while we have the chance.

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