my version of his obituary

Derek died. I got a message from him on myspace, notifying me that he died. Actually, it was his on again off again (on again) fiance using Derek’s account to let me know. She’s known for shenanigans, so I wasn’t sure whether to trust her. But, it does appear to be true.
I met Derek 8 years ago when I was working in the EOU library. He would come in late at night with a heavy, faux fur-lined coat and he would use the internet. Later, it became clear that he came to visit me too. His then girlfriend, Megan (not yet pregnant with his son), would come to pick him up. Though there was, at times, good stuff between the two of them, he mostly felt stuck in La Grande and stuck to be with her. Later, when she “accidentally” got pregnant with his son, Hunter, the boy became Derek’s greatest obsession. Music and love life suddenly came second.
He shared custody with Megan. He and Megan were not together very long. He was with Hunter a lot. They could always be seen bombing around La Grande with the stroller, getting McDonalds, or going downtown for a coffee and newspaper. Hunter, tall for his age, was very social, trying to talk to everyone and flirt with all the girls. He loved to be out. He was a handful, but Derek always had an easygoing smile on his face when he was with the boy.
Court battles eventually took away much of Derek’s visitation with the child. Since then, which was about a year ago, Derek has not been the same. He seemed fine, but mellower, quieter, sober. Hunter was his life and his truest joy.
One light in this past year was finding the “love of his life.” He was a hopeless romantic and found what he’d always been looking for in a girl named Tracy. I never met her. I saw pictures. I had never heard him talk about a girl like he talked about Tracy. For the troubles they had, it seemed that the good outweighed the bad. He had his grandmother’s wedding ring resized for her.
Derek was terrifying and intense, and yet somehow we always had a lot to say to each other. That began 8 years ago.
24 hours before he died, almost to the minute, he sent me a message, heartbroken that I had never fallen in love with him. He would send those messages to me once a year or so.


8 thoughts on “my version of his obituary

    1. sherewin Post author

      He died from a seizure. He had been IMing with his girl. There was a pause. A long pause. Somewhere in there, he died. Very tragic. Very unexpected.

      1. syllepsis

        Sometimes I don’t know how I can go on living knowing all the ways to die. That’s terrible. Did he have a history of seizures?

      2. sherewin Post author

        He had had a few seizures over the past few years but doctors were unable to diagnose him with anything. I was under the impression that it hadn’t been a problem for him lately.

    1. sherewin Post author

      Thank you. This was a quick response. I just found out a few hours before, but I’m sure it will creep into my writing later in other ways.

      1. poebot

        Yes, I realized it was raw. But what you were able to articulate about something difficult, in terms of a quick response, to me warrants more writing about it. There is so much here. Where Derek found his belonging (or didn’t) through Megan, Hunter, Tracy, and even you–seems to be at the heart of the matter.

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