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  • Gerald Tindal

Day 21: Letters


KT Man,


Every night is spent in the dark, musing about you. Though I know this word fits, I thought about variations and indeed it fits unlike your death. Your life is the center piece of the letters and eventually my wanderings land on something important about you. Only you. All you. So the letters have a focus. A subject line guided by details, enriched by you, expressed in words. It’s the words that carry your spirit. Juxtapositions. Pivots. Conjectures. Flights. Abrupt endings.


The letters span somewhere between disbelief and despair. It is not a good place to be. The disbelief comes in every corner of the day. In the grocery store. At the stop light. Walking along. Anywhere. Our disbelief is disguised but arrives as a certainty. No. Not true. Not you. This is not us. But this certainty can’t be dispelled which is where we despair. Indeed, it is true. That twisted irony of reading about this happening to someone else now rests at our feet. In our home. Part of our family. Every part of every day.


The letters bring to life your life. All the things that went by the way in such brief moments that they were filed under the wrong category. Stored incorrectly somewhere as just another good dinner with the KT and Mads, Sev and KT, a walkabout, a weekend. Holidays were a bit more poignant but still misplaced in marking time. Another good year. The usual goofy Tindal traditions with slightly off center celebrations that were derivations of respect with a twist. These hidden moments were slight. Accepted. Appreciated but not overly so. These moments didn’t but should’ve shouted ‘listen’, ‘pay attention’, ‘this will never be again’.


So the letters are my way to keep you. Hold you dear. Allow me to understand what you meant and how you rolled. Tell stories with words that can be read aloud. And re-read. Told to others so they too could understand. Told to people who knew you and could resonate; they heard the same story because they were part of it. In the story. Told to people who didn’t know you but had kids and cousins and families in their own life so they could read about something like this in the newspaper and not just say “I never knew Karsten, but he sounded like a helluva fine guy, kinda like…”. Going somewhere. Doing something.


In the end, there will be an end. But not until I say so, unlike the fate of this cruel world that so definitively stated on August 14 your life would end. It is three weeks since your death. So I continue to keep the drum beat of writing letters. To keep you in our life and hope one day the disbelief and despair fade away. To stop spending my nights with convulsive crying. To wake up and view the day with hope and put on a KT smile that says ‘game on’.


We love you so much.


Dad Man


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