Saturday, January 24, 2009

In Remembrance

Last night Angus MacEachern called me. I knew it was not good news. His father and my friend, Duncan had gone to some Boston hospital for a last chance stem cell treatment to kill the lymphoma that had dogged him for a couple of years. Duncan did not survive. The stem cells took, but the radiation that followed was too much apparently. It does not matter how or why. Duncan did not make it home.

For those of us who are designated survivors, each individual must go through a unique personal experience in order to deal with the loss of a friend or loved one. I was cool on the phone with Angus, but as I type right now, I can barely see the keypad. Feelings of loss, guilt and pure sorrow blend into a moment of extreme personal pain.

I met Duncan when he first came to the area fresh from college in 1972 to teach the Sanford area youth the basics of using tools to make things. He was a shop teacher and our neighbor for 36 years. Duncan was a gentle man. Duncan was a good man. A man I often admired for his total lack of bullshit. A dependable, concerned, and committed family man.

He was meticulous and tenacious in everything he attempted. From building his own home to learning how to play the bag pipes as an adult. When he started to practice his piping, he would stand outside in his yard and lay into it. If you heard him at first, you can understand why he was outside and not inside. He would often apologize to me for his racket. And I would always say it was not problem. Because it was never an issue for us here up the road. His piping was music to my ears and I got the chance to follow his progression from rookie to experienced. I would often stop what I was doing outside and just listen to the sounds of his pipes as they drifted up my way. I would think of ancestors who might have done the same thing. Duncan kept me aware of our mutual ancestral background.

I won't do the obvious and expound on all the regrets I have now regarding Duncan. We were very good friends and I will miss him. Any regrets at this point would do neither of us any good. And knowing Duncan, he would probably think I was being stupid for having regrets. Just know that he did affect my life and his presence and his pipes will be missed here at 407 Sam Page Road.

Rest in Peace good friend.


BBC said...

How someones death affects us, and how we deal with it and grieve, or not seem to grieve, or simply don't grieve at all is a very interesting thing to me.

I've grieved over people I hardly knew, yet didn't when my mother and sisters died.

Bottom line, I don't judge others by how they do or don't grieve. Such things are not for us to judge or decide, it's up to the people involved and none of my business.

But my study of grief was interesting.

Gary ("Old Dude") said...

I know little about you, having only exchanged blog comments, and I of course did not know your friend Duncan at all----yet reading your eulogy for your freind, brought tears to my eyes, and I have no doubt at all he was indeed a good friend to you.

Bull said...

Duncan seems like a man any of us would have considered ourselves privileged to know. I am very sorry for your loss.

Utah Savage said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

PresterJohn said...

Thanks, Crummy.


Dawn on MDI said...

I am with Gary on this one. I am typing through tears brought out by pure feelings you put to the page. What a beautiful tribute to a remarkable man. My heart is with you.

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

I'm so sorry, Crum. Duncan sounds like a great guy.

Eternal rest grant unto your servant, O Lord, and let the Perpetual Light shine upon him.

Randal Graves said...

Sorry to hear about this.