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To someone very close to us, who thinks we should ‘move on’, shut down this web site, put away Steve’s pictures, and 'try not to think of him so much':

I think you are encouraging us to not think of Steve because you are uncomfortable when we talk about him, and occasionally, when we cry about him. You feel our pain. And you feel your own pain too. So you have chosen not to think about him very often. And you feel we should do the same, for our own good. If we thought about him less, we could 'move on' more easily.

But there is a difference between us. You can choose not to think about him. We don't have that choice. No matter what we would do, he will always be in our thoughts.

You may think that we purposely dwell on thoughts of Steve, and the tragedy. We don’t. If we did, we couldn’t survive. We wouldn’t be as functional as we are, if we thought about him, and what happened,constantly.  But, at the same time, it’s impossible to not to think about him often.

 We can never really recover from his loss. An amputee is changed physically by the loss of his limb. The way he interacts with the physical world must reflect that change. He can’t do the things he used to do. And he has a phantom limb sensation – he feels the limb, even though it’s gone. And each time he feels that lost limb he must acknowledge its loss. He does that over and over again. I have lost something too – a part of my heart and soul is gone. I have been changed psychically and emotionally by my loss, and will now always react to the world differently than I did. There is a phantom Steve, a ghost, like that phantom limb. I think of Steve, and then I am immediately hit by his loss, again and again. I talk to that ghost, play pool with that ghost, because I need to. I think I always will. In this and other ways I am different mentally than I was. I don’t choose to be different, I just am.

You said we have to stop trying to bring him back. We are not trying to bring him back -  it’s just that he won’t go away. He will always be with us. Anyway, we wouldn’t ever want him to go away, or to forget  all the wonderful memories of him and the times we had together, even if we could.

Even if we closed the web site and put away all the pictures, Steve would still be all around us. Even if we moved to another house, to another state, Steve would be there. He is the young man walking down the street that I see out of the corner of my eye, he is the kid throwing a basketball at a driveway hoop, and he is the boy looking at a bicycle at K-Mart. Steve is in so many of the songs I hear, in the lyrics that talk of losing someone who is loved. He is at every meeting that I have with a guy whose name happens to be Steve. He is in the car with me, eyeing the black Acura cruising down the highway, and he is fishing at the lake I visit. I am reminded of him when I mow the lawn or work on a car. Steve is at every wedding that I attend, in every cemetery that I pass, on every TV commercial with a young child, and in every movie with a death.

It would be nice if we could sometimes just talk about Steve with you, without you trying to fix us. But if we can’t, we have to accept that. We shouldn’t even mention Steve to you. Maybe we can only talk to certain people, people who are more comfortable letting us say his name, and say a little of how we feel these days. And how we will very probably feel the rest of our lives.


August 2, 2003

My son
Would have been
Twenty one
We would have had a beer
Told stories, or something, but
He’s not here
I want to see him, be with him
There's a manic urge to scream
Like a panic in a bad dream
Calm down, take a pill
I need something that will
Let me cry again
Every day he dies again
And I ask why again
He had to kill
Any chance to make it better
Despite the tape and letter
It doesn't get better
It doesn’t get easier
The world just seems sleazier
I’m going off the deep end
I just want to sleep and
I’m at a dead end
Why is he gone?
Did I do it all wrong?
I could only watch him go
We couldn’t get to him
He rushed toward ruin
No matter what we did
He hid his plan
He was a kid and a man
Mixed up, scared
You weren’t there
To know how I cared
Soul bared in his journal
But I didn’t read it
The note, I didn’t heed it
Didn’t see the signs
Read between the lines
Would it have mattered?
My brain feels battered
Life shattered, in tatters
Splattered all over this town
(Apologies to Jagger)
I go thru the motions
Wade through a bog
Of emotions
Every day
But it's alright - I'm OK

Steve – you are a god
Gifted, multi-layered
And yeah, a player
I remember you
Tall, a little guile
And your crooked smile -
There's a folder in my heart
From the day you were born
To the day we were torn apart.
And for the duration
Memories and pretend conversation
Will have to do
Will have to do
Cause that's the only way
I can be with you.

Happy Birthday, Son.


Appearance to the Friends 19 On the evening of the first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the friends were, for fear of the Tremors, Jones came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace, my brothers.” 20 When he said this, he showed them the contract, the original hand-written manuscript. The friends rejoiced when the saw Steve. 21 [Jones] said to them again “Peace, my brothers. Peace this, peace that. You know what I’m saying?” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Ricolas, dudes. 23 You can get them at Walgreens on Business Drive.”

The Appearance to the Seven Friends 1 After this, Jones revealed himself again to his friends at Long Lake. He revealed himself in this way. 2 Together were Mitch, Andrew called AJ, Brad from Sheboygan, Anna, and three other friends. 3 Mitch said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We also will come with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. 4 When it was already dawn, Jones was standing on the shore, but the friends did not realize that it was Jones. 5 Jones said to them, “Yo, have you caught anything to eat?” they answered him, “No.” 6 So he said to them, “Cast your lines over the right side of the boat and you will find something.”  So they cast them, and were not able to pull them in because of the weight of the fish. 7 So the friends whom Jones loved said to Mitch, “It is Steve.” When Mitch heard it was Steve, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and dove in the lake. 8 The other friends came in the boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards, dragging the lines with fish. 9 When they climbed out on shore, they saw a campfire, with fish on it, and Bud Light. 10 Jones said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.” 11 So AJ went over and dragged the lines ashore full of one hundred fifty-three large fish. Even though there were so many, the lines did not break. 12 Jones said to them, “Come, have breakfast.” And none of the friends dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they realized it was Steve. 13 Jones came over and took the Bud Light and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jones was revealed to his friends since he went away.

15 When they had finished breakfast Jones said to Anna, “Do you love me?” She said to him, “Yes Steve, you know that I love you.” He said to her, “Take care my turtles.” 16 He then said to Mitch, “Mitch, do you love me?” He said to him, “Take my subwoofer.” 17 He said to AJ, “AJ, do you love me?” AJ was distressed that he had said to him, “Do you love me?” and said to him, “Dude, you know everything; you tell me.” [Jones] said to him, “Drive the Mazda.” 18 “Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to stretch out you hand, and someone else would dress you and take you where you did not want to go, but when you grew old, you would dress yourself, and go where you wanted.” 19  And when he had said this, he said to them, “Read Tolkien.”


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