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  • Writer's pictureGerald Tindal

Day 1095: Loss is not Absence

Karsten KT DoggMan: August 14, 2021, will be 3 years since your death and by now over 100+ letters have been posted. We continue to struggle with this date, the suddenness, its irreversibility, and the loss of you being present in our daily life – the daily phone calls and episodic catchups with trips to see you in the Portland area, to the yurt or planned events elsewhere, or your visits to us in Brewgene. Three years ago today, we lost so much. And yet, it is your presence, not your absence, that is steadfast: We simply cannot have it any other way.

We lost having your wit and cheerful manner grace our presence. A mindful, quiet, patient, ‘roll with it’ approach to life. Not wound up and anxious with the future dominating the present. Your presence is with us throughout the day, as we people ourselves in daily chores and planned events to ward off the past and escape from its grip. Your approach to life remains a remarkable presence and a state of being with us.

We lost your sense of moving on in life, through the Sports Product Management (SPM) program and into a career, a rare attainment these days with youngers who more typically cycle through jobs stapled together with no sum game. You remain in the forefront as we see your buddies, sorted as career keepers and job movers (for now). But they all give us perspective on this fulcrum, always involved in meaningful ways to make life work for them and adjust as needed. They continue to remind us of your presence and honor who you were in their and our life.

We lost the sense of growing older with you, changing in shape and look, as age takes its toll: The developmental milestones that cannot be avoided. We all look so different than what once was. Sev has the most beautiful curly hair, so different than before her cancer treatment. LT and I are, well, now old, hitting a (st)age I thought was the stuff of history books with my parents. Yet, your presence is everywhere in our house with pictures that hang frozen at age 28. Good looking, with sufficient grit to ward off growing old. Sev’s new house has your pictures prominently displayed in every room. They are reminders of your presence in our life.

So, Buddy, loss is not absence. We cannot be prisoners to the past but also cannot change it. We cannot control the future, but your presence will be with us. And between these time warps, we continue to focus on the present with your presence, in all things large and small.

As I wrote on your birthday, we love you buddy. Always will.

We have transcribed (anonymously so) the notes left on your bench “In loving memory of Karsten Tindal, KT, whose kindness, generosity, and infectious smile live on in the hearts of South Eugene.” Your presence is clearly among us all.

Dad Mann, Mama Llama, and Sev-Beanz


Thank you for all your heartfelt thoughts. JT, LT, and Sev

Thanks to all of you who take the time to write. It makes our day bright. Life sure is a bench. The Tindals.


I love this idea.

There is only perfection and clouded vision thereof.

Sunset is an all-day process. Nature a reflection of ourselves.

Slowed down enough to speed up with family outdoors. Thank you, God ‘n that’s literal.

Love. How old are you?

I didn’t want to watch Big Brother, so I took a walk (he made me).

This box, with its priceless contents, gives me such joy and hope.

The earth laughs in wildflowers.

Join the game, fight the fight, play with form all you want…But for true peace, take off the mask.

Thanks for being a sweet and kind, sweet and funny person at my birthday and at Halloween.

You are lovely just you’re you.

You are cool. I love you.

Love you to the moon and back.

How sweet! & How blessed are we?!!! Thank you – So!

Karsten The Sweetest & Kindest boy.

Love is knowing I am everything. Wisdom is knowing I am nothing. Between the two my life flows.

An ogre chased two little boys passed this bench.

From the two little boys chased by an ogre: The ogre nearly had us, when we passed you on the bench. Made it safely back home with his magic beans, two little boys.

I finally left him. I’m so glad he never came with me to this spot in 6 years. It is still safe and sacred to me.

That it will all work out okay. Hope for happiness.

Thank you! Gracias (Portugese). Danke Arrigato (Japenese).

Enjoying these notes as my dog drinks from the stream. Such a beautiful morning!

So nice to see so much positivity in one place. Thank you for giving us a chance to see how many others feel as we do. Life in harmony for all beings involved.

Today is as wonderful as you are!

Thnx Thnx Thnx for this magic box. I am Love. I am Light. Sovereignty. Capture the Empowerment and Beauty.

Everything changes when I remember to listen to the voices of the more-than-human world.

I love this sweet gesture. Always here! Thank you.

Quiet the mind and listen. It is there, where grace & peace are found. Embrace the beauty all around us.

Spread a little joy today.

What a perfect little surprise. Thank you!

That our lives will be as socially relaced again, as they once were!

The woods are to me a poem about change. Attend to the infinite shades of green.

Alive in the curious emptiness.

Lovely & peaceful. Grateful.

Fully submerged. The vest of understanding dissolved & I was no longer last. I was simply immersed in the great mystery of it all – Love will guide the way.

I love you Jonnycat! Always.

We let the Love wash over us! Life is a bench.

The tiniest bee landed on the fresh flowers that perfectly sat on this bench. Legs covered in pollen. I relished in this simple moment of my partner & I & my lil pup mate. Writing on lil pieces of paper on this beautiful trail, we journeyed on to find Martin Street Trail.

Is there a spiritual world? Dare to ask the question and remember to look for the answer. Over time it will come.

Nurture old friendships. They are sacred.

It’s not your fault! Never give up!

Eric is the love of my life. Thank you.

Cannot wait to marry the man of my dreams…

The poet said “No matterings of mind can ever equal one violet. E. E. Cummings.

We love you KT!

Hi Again! Lovely. A little spot of beauty, tranquility, and friendliness.

Song: Homebody. Artist: Nai Palm. Album: Needle Paw. Here’s a song I love. All one. Peace 2 you.

Mi Corazon es tu yo. Came here in on our first date two months ago. Still going strong and deeper in love.

Finding the greatest happiness in being a part of this is a fill in the blank thought, no eraser.

This bench and creek bring me peace.

The chickadee and the robin’s chirp. Trickling of the creek. Wind in the maples and light on the bees. A damselfly alights on creek stone. And my dog blows bubbles getting his underwater stick.

Queen Anne’s Lace. St. Johns wort. Valesran. Ajuga. Dawn Yellow Aster. Daisies. Greet us in a dappling spot of sun silently shining to us. Thank you, kindred spirit.

Healing salve for my broken heart and confidence to love again.

I grant you this.

My heart soars between sorrow and joy. Unsure.

Master Wilburn Burchette. Blue Crystal Fire. This moment.

It’s paradise here at 8 PM. Soft light, warm air, so many birds chirping. I’m autistic & have a hard time socializing, but it’s nice to share this space with so many who’ve left notes. So happy right now. Amen.

Every day you have the choice to do good. What do you choose today?

I choose to be a reflection in a chapel of sacred mirrors.

Peace, Love, Balance, Rain, lots of Rain! May we evolve to love and a higher level of consciousness.

Amen. Balance & Harmony & Rain & Self Love.

Chickadees send the rattle out into the world. Splash from the child’s toes.

Thank you.

As I walk, I have been pondering how about I have chosen to be, yet I miss family and close friends who live so far away. Why my choice? Are the tradeoffs worth while? When it comes down to it, connection and love are all we crave, deserve, find the unity of being. I’m deeply grateful.

Hey. I like your note. It reminds me of a song by Alfa Mist. The lyric says: ”Why do we go far when you’re just trying to get closer?

It’s no wonder death. People don’t get. It is when someone needs space alone. Quiet. Wouldn’t be so unhappy if the respect of others were there.

Best. Of…Whoever…Note. It looks like the sun bleached the message along with the rain. Thank you. What are the flowers for?

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