Monday, October 19, 2020

Death Anniversaries

People who we've met who have experienced the death of a child all told us that the annual anniversaries of the tragedy are difficult, and after going through our first anniversary of Gilgamesh's accident and death back in the middle of last September, I can say this accurately reflected our experience. Anticipating this, we drove 7 hours away to Cheaha State Park in northern Alabama. I'm glad all three of us got away and spent it together. I'm glad our dog Enkidu was able to join us. Here we are:

My Jewish friends and colleagues remind me of their tradition where there is a year long mourning period before the process of working on grief begins.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Therese's Birthday

 Therese's birthday was last weekend. There were fun parts about it, like Xy's pool, and the chocolate mousse that Kalypso and I made was great, but mostly it was sad because of Gil being gone. It was Therese's first birthday without a Gil hug in many years. Some of Gil's friends it seems were on social media letting each other know it was Therese's birthday, so she heard from many of them. She really loves hearing from them and cherishes these things, but it is hard at the same time. 

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Gilgamesh Voted Once

Therese, Kalypso, and I went to vote today. We were sad to see Gilgamesh's name on the voting registration, immediately preceding Kalypso and me. They gave me an LR-34(79) form, also known as "State of Louisiana Application for Cancellation of Deceased Registrant by Relative" application. Gilgamesh only voted once. We went to the Lake Vista Community Center to vote early, probably on November 24, 2018, just three days after his 18th birthday. At that time, Therese was in Omaha for Thanksgiving and Kalypso was at work, so it was just Gil and me. With Gil being Gil, who was always hungry, I remembered we stopped at Birds Nest Cafe so he could get some food. I remember he was interested in studying the candidates and the issues on the ballot. He would have been a good citizen.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Father's Day

Yesterday was Father's Day. Happy Father's Day to all the fathers. My father William Homan passed away in 2007. His birthday was June 21st, so I always saved money by giving him one gift for both events. This was my first Father's Day since my son Gil died. Sadly, there used to be two people in the world who called me "Abu," and now there is only one.

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