Tuesday, May 19, 2020


I rarely remember my dreams. But when I awoke this morning I was in the middle of a very strange one. I was in the desert riding a camel, and it was not a very good camel. I was doing some sort of archaeological survey, but the camel was unpredictable and dangerous. I exchanged it for a much larger camel, and I was impressed with how it handled. I was nervous it was going to throw me as I tried to get on its back, to get my left foot over it, but it waited for me to get situated. Then I'm at my mom's house in Omaha, and now I have a large horse. I bring it downstairs to where my room used to be. I have a feeling like I've left the horse there a couple of days and I've been neglecting it. I knew Therese was going to be upset with me. I can't tell if the water on the floor is from Therese mopping or from the horse urinating. Then the horse gets on the couch with me and it's on its side, and Enkidu my bulldog is licking the horse's ears and the horse thinks it's funny, but I'm worried its legs will crush me. So I get up with the intention of taking the horse to the back yard for food and water, and I'm wondering what horses eat, and then I worry it will eat my mom's garden. I see the shower is on and I assume Therese must be in it as I see her blue and green robe. I know she's going to be upset so I start thinking about what to wear from the clothes in my suitcase. Then Gilgamesh comes down the stairs. I'm only wearing my black underwear, and Gil is wearing the same. He is also wearing his Buddy Holly glasses, and is about 14 years old. He thinks it funny we are dressed the same and he puts his hand in the air, pointing up, and shakes his head up and down saying "Yeeeeaaaaahhhh." I wasn't surprised to see Gil, like he was missing or anything. Then I woke up.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Stupid Meaningless Place

Today Therese, Kalypso, and I drove to Baton Rouge to see the place where Gilgamesh hit his head on the concrete. It's been more than six months since he died, and it took quite a bit of mental energy to make this trip. I really don't know how to describe the location now that I've been there, it just seemed stupid and meaningless. We also drove around LSU's campus to see where he lived. Therese commented how she said to him two weeks before he died that she was looking forward to getting to know Baton Rouge better. I find Baton Rouge to be a strange place, and while I shared Therese's sentiments before Gil's accident, I now feel like I don't need to spend any more time there.

Monday, March 02, 2020

Mardi Gras Sans Gilgamesh

This year it was our first Mardi Gras without our son Gilgamesh. It was difficult. I sat out most of it and laid low. I'm tired of running into people who tell me how sorry they are about Gil. Others who lost children foretold to us that the grief would get worse before it gets better. Both Therese and I have admitted that we feel worse now than we did a few months ago. It's like a giant weight is crushing me, or that I feel broken. My mother-in-law Mary Mike was here for 10 days, which I kept reminding her was a pretty long visit. It was good though because it forced us to get out and do a few things. One of the things was taking some of Gil's ashes to the Mississippi River on Mardi Gras day with the Krewe of Saint Anne. That was hard, but as so many people in New Orleans do this custom, it was nice to be around others who were mourning. It's one of those weird quirky things about this city that I love. Many people in clever costumes putting ashes in the river and pouring libations and talking about the lives of their friends and loved ones. Here's a picture of Kalypso and Gilgamesh from Mardi Gras Day 2012. We were watching as the members of the Krewe of St. Anne were doing their annual ashes into the river thing. I had a nice conversation with Gilgamesh about the ritual.


It was much more crowded when we did this last week. You can see the steps going down to the water. That's where it happens. Mardi Gras in New Orleans is of course one of the best things about living here. It was a big part of Gilgamesh's life. He loved to hang out with his friends at the parades.

A few years ago we celebrated Mardi Gras in Cyprus. Gil commented that it was just about what he'd expect from Cyprus. I always thought that was funny. Here's a picture of those happier times at Cyprus carnival. Gilgamesh is holding silly string.


Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Thomas Harding Letter

I very much liked this article by Thomas Harding. He witnessed the death of his 14-year-old son Kadian. Seven years later, he wrote a letter about advise he would give to himself when this tragedy happened. The point is sadly that the pain never goes away. He said it gets less "raw" but there is always a hole. When my son died, I had this idea that things would get better with time and the pain might go away one day.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Two Dreams

I had two dreams last night about Gilgamesh. 

In the first we were in a small engine boat on a wide and swift river with some sort of a pet seal. We docked, and then I  saw a bear with a hat in a boat come near us a bit further downstream. Then a second bear was swimming below the surface to catch up to the first. Our pet seal jumped in the water and swam to where the bears were. Gil tied off our boat and was walking towards the bears, they noticed him and there was going to be a big fight. I was frantically working to untie the boat so Gil, the seal, and me could escape the bears in the boat. 

Then in the second dream Gil was a passenger in a red car with three other boys. They were driving around like everything was normal. Sometimes when I walk to work I feel overwhelmed and I just start crying. I heard today that Gil's school Lusher published the yearbooks that are dedicated to Gil. Therese teaches at the same school. I know today will be pretty dark for her.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Monday, December 30, 2019

2019 Good Riddance

I'm not a fan of 2019. It's for many reasons, but mostly because of death. The most difficult loss for me was my son Gilgamesh on September 17th. I also lost my sister Chris Homan on July 2nd, my biological brother Patric McKenzie on September 24, and finally, tomorrow, the final day of 2019, will be the funeral for my dear father-in-law John Francis Fitzpatrick who passed away the day after Christmas.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Condolence Letters

When Gilgamesh died, we received 156 letters of condolence in the mail. There were many more emails, tweets, Facebook messages and comments, but 156 envelopes with 55 cent stamps were put in our mailbox. Some of the envelopes contained checks donating money to the Gilgamesh Homan Memorial Scholarship fund, and we were very thankful for the outreach and the donations.

We began with the intention of writing thank you notes but quit after a few days. It was overwhelming. We might try again at some future date.

These condolence letters came from all over the world, and it was nice to see how many people had their lives impacted by Gil. There was a formula to these letters. Many started off by saying "I can't even imagine," or "Words cannot express," or "This is the 20th time I've sat down to write this." The best ones told memories of Gil or how he had impacted them.

A few were from people he had recently met at LSU. One was his English teacher, and she wrote about how when faculty asked about the new Freshman class, she had him in mind when she said they were bright and engaged.

Others were from friends who had known Gil his entire life. They chronicled how they remembered our family as a strong unit of four. "The Homan Four" one old acquaintance wrote. The letters spoke of Gil's compassion, friendliness, confidence, and sense of humor. I'm glad we have these letters, and at a later date, I look forward to reading them again.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Facebook Posts

Here are some of the posts from Facebook pertaining to Gilgamesh's accident:

Sept 16
Yesterday our son Gilgamesh Homan fell off his skateboard and fractured the back of his skull rendering him unconscious. At the hospital they put him on various life support mechanisms including a breathing machine. There was quite a bit of swelling and bleeding from the brain. They tried to take out part of his skull to ease the pressure. That didn't work. The neurosurgeons said there was nothing they could do.

Gilgamesh is an organ donor. Now over the next 30 hours they will try to find recipients for his organs. Probably Wednesday we'll say goodbye to him, and they will take him to surgery to take out his organs that matched recipients. He is just 18 years old. It's perversely senseless.

I'm not sure how appropriate messages like this are on facebook. It's just that there have been stories about his condition circulating and I wanted to clarify briefly what has happened. Thank you for your support during these difficult past 24 hours and for what lies ahead. I'm not going to be able to check facebook for a while so forgive me if I don't answer any questions in this feed.

Sept 17
The memorial celebration of my son Gilgamesh Homan’s life will likely be Saturday September 28th. More details to follow in a few days. We will be saying goodbye to him later this evening.

Sept 18
Gilgamesh Homan passed away at 8:09 PM last night, September 17, 2019.