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  • Zeb Carlson

Trigger Warning: Feels

A couple of years ago, the cows were mooing in the distance over at the sale barn as we said "see ya" to this guy. He loved his cattle, and had such an affinity to Shorthorns (google 'em, they really are pretty rad animals) and while we watched the casket we heard the cadence of bellers in the background, while my cousin Denny sang a song that he picked out just for him, and it was tender and real and emotional and genuine. Muriel was there holding the music, and we had a teeny bit of closure. This amazing human (Dawn FTW) played taps and we exhaled. Listening to the sounds around us, freezing in the cold South Dakota February, and started saying to ourselves, "this happened, and it's over". One of my cousins sent me a note after, noting the meditative state they found while all of this was around them, and I simply couldn't agree more. It was zen, in the weirdest (yet totally purest) form of zen.

I didn't invent coping with dead dads, but I've had to invent it for myself. Strike that, I HAVE to invent it — every day — it's not past tense. It's weird and hits you upside the head when you least expect it. It's brain-boggling how this shit doesn't have a linear path. My close friend Joan Didian (in my mind, we are BFF's and you can't take that from me, I BELIEVE IT) has this book that talks about this, and it's worth the read.


I'm just happy you lived. And I commit to celebrating a life well lived. On Valentine's Day, the day that was special to you and your wife, and the day of week, Saturday, THAT WAS SUCH A BIG DEAL TO YOU, where you hung with your pals at the salebarn watching cattle and talking farm-stuffs and being ingrained in your community, I celebrate you. Obvi, you lived therefore I live, but hey, you did some stuff.

Patience, because this shit takes time. Just be patient. You said so damn many times, so many times that I was just SO NOT INTO LISTENING, "Just breathe". As I meditate on V-day 2017, I breathe.

We're good, y'all. We're gonna get thru this. ALL of this. We WILL. No, we ARE.

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