“The literary equivalent of a summer night, a good friend and a gin-and-tonic: Shannon is a deft writer; a natural storyteller with a wicked turn of phrase and frighteningly specific memory...”

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Dark Night Of the Soul: Lost Friend

My friend Ion’s memorial service is on Saturday. It’s going to be at a lifeguard tower in Santa Monica where he worked and saved lives for years. I miss him today. I keep seeing flashes of moments between us from over twenty years ago and I want to write them all down. Where will those moments go if I don’t trap them in words? Imprison them in prose?

Will they ever really have happened? Will the love, affection, connection, any of it have mattered? When I’m gone those memories will be gone too. But if I can write them down somewhere they can’t be erased, then maybe they will endure.

Or maybe I’m trying to write you back to life Ion? Not so you can be back in my life, but so you can continue your own.

The past and present seem to be all mixed up together right now. If Ion can die then anyone can. My closest loved ones can. And I’m confronted with my own mortality. And that nothing is promised.

So here is my game plan. I’m going to wallow in sadness until after the memorial service. Then I’m going to stop compulsively checking Ion’s Facebook page to read more stories written about him by his loved ones and to see more pictures capturing his various incarnations; model, lifeguard, actor, photographer, father, grandfather, man I loved for a summer and more. I’m going to go on with my life and stop thinking about death.

But at night I’m going to pray. I don’t know what I’ll say or who will listen, prayer has never come naturally to me. Nor has humility. But I am cracked open, just enough, to see what I need to learn.

I would love to hear your stories about walking through grief. Thanks for reading and supporting me. Love, love love S.


Tags assigned to this article:
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14 comments

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  1. Jeannine
    Jeannine 19 September, 2012, 10:32

    I have lost both parents and my first love committed suicide – grief if HARD and painful – I am sorry you are feeling the pain of it all

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    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 19 September, 2012, 11:17

      Oh Jeannine — I’m so sorry for your losses. Suicide is a completely different issue. So many unanswered questions. Yet you are still here living, loving and writing which is so encouraging.

      Reply this comment
  2. tania luviano
    tania luviano 19 September, 2012, 12:31

    I’m sorry for your losses! beautiful writing!

    Reply this comment
  3. Carol D
    Carol D 19 September, 2012, 14:28

    I have unfortunately lost both parents and I find that when I pray and just ask God to handle the grief for me, for a day, a minute, however long that I can just be “normal” and not be thinking of my loss. That really helped me get through it and really through most of my trials. You learn to just let go and give it over to a higher power, that can be very freeing. Good luck and it will get better. I promise.

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    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 19 September, 2012, 19:51

      Carol I’m so sorry both of your parents are gone. And thank you for your words of wisdom. I spend a lot of my life on auto-pilot, tasks and it’s moments like these that snap me awake and remind me to appreciate each day. Trite as that sounds it’s true.

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  4. pattie
    pattie 19 September, 2012, 20:48

    I lost my father a few years ago and I gotta tell you – it kind of just diminishes on its own. It’s tough though – expecting to see the other person walking around, bumping into them, etc. I miss him terribly.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 20 September, 2012, 08:01

      I think I feel worst of all for Ion’s daughters. I can’t imagine losing my dad at such a young age.

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  5. Presley's Pantry
    Presley's Pantry 19 September, 2012, 21:15

    I had a still born baby in 2008. At the time I had no children and the idea of ever becoming a mom was uncertain. I was 38 weeks when I lost my son. I never met him or had the courage to even see what he looked like. I allowed myself to sink to the lowest low for an “X” amount of time, then I told myself…. “If you want to be a Mom, you better dust off the dirt from your knees and try again.” In 2009 I had my son Max. I know your loss is different, but at the end of the day it all hurts the same. My heart and prayers are with you and Ion’s nearest and dearest. 🙁

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    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 20 September, 2012, 08:03

      Hi Presley – I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a baby at any stage is devastating. I love your fortitude in dusting the dirt off your knees. You were so obviously meant to be a mom with your bubbling personality.

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  6. Alma
    Alma 20 September, 2012, 00:43

    So sorry to hear about your terrible loss. 🙁

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  7. Alexandra
    Alexandra 20 September, 2012, 09:08

    It’s never easy.

    Everyone has to work their way through.

    And there is no way around it, only through.

    I’m so sorry, my dear Shannon.

    Reply this comment
  8. Megan
    Megan 21 September, 2012, 10:09

    What Alexandra said. xo

    Reply this comment
  9. trina
    trina 23 September, 2012, 11:16

    *hugs* I’m so sorry to hear about your loss.

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