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.