Sunday, December 4, 2011

in memoriam

Yesterday we had J.D.'s memorial service, starting with about 90 minutes of people standing up and sharing stories or thoughts about J.D., then a whole mess of food, and then folks took the room apart, laid down carpet foam, and it became a chill party. There were a couple very nice altars, one for the community to put stuff on, and one main altar:


Jon Logan, among other things a brilliant ambient music DJ, did the most amazing slideshow, set to this Aphex Twin song which will, for a long time, make me cry.

All my photos are here.

I might have thought, after moving his dead body, that the fullness of J.D's death would have hit me already. Maybe it did, and now I'm just having sadness about it; I don't think the psychoanalysis matters.

Matt L. called me yesterday afternoon to ask if I would work with him in bringing the wireless microphones around to people who wanted to talk, which of course I did, so I ended up helping the memorial after all, and in such a public way that everyone thanked me for all my hard work. I also got to say my own piece, which was fun. I'll post links to video, if there is one (there should be, since it was live-streamed).

I was really struck by how many people, in their grieving, made what they were saying be all about them. We didn't cut anybody off, though it was an option: "really awkward" is not the same as "inappropriate." J.D.'s mother started off with a long prepared statement that talked (in not entirely accurate terms) about their estrangement, and after a brief field trip into the crazy, ended by encouraging people to resolve their own estrangements. A few more people echoed that sentiment during the sharing, and one guy afterward was talking to me and talking about how he was going to call his father the next day, since they'd been estranged for a few years.
"...and I realized aw, crap, I gotta make a phone call."
"Yeah, you do."
"I should."
"And you know, it might not work."
"But then I know I made the effort."
"Exactly. The best we can do is to be the ones to set ourselves aside and reach out. It might not work out, but we tried."
I was pretty angry at J.D. for a while after he moved to Colorado, because he left a vast quantity of stuff in the house we were both moving out of, which took me about a week and a half to dispose of. He never quite apologized for it, and without that I didn't have much to say about it, so it just sort of hung in the air and dissipated slowly like a bad smell in a poorly-ventilated room. Our friendship always had a bit of awkwardness to it, so it's not clear what would have changed had we actually worked it out. We talked and saw each other and hung out and had dinner. Life continued. So I think it's okay, and I don't regret anything.

I didn't see him often in person, but I talked to him every day on ICB, and now our conversation is ended. I guess this is it, then. Our friend is dead.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this. Nice pics. I missed the parts with the mic and slideshow. I have no idea what I would've said to a mic that I haven't already expressed elsewhere. JD is gone. -1 friend. Its pretty damn final for him but we all move on.