I found out today that a writer friend whom I’d only met online, never in person, passed away recently. I was sad to hear of his passing. He was always sharing knowledge and funny memes and stories about penguins and potatoes with his online community. He wrote poetry that was shared hundreds, if not thousands, of times. He wrote short stories and erotica and likely other things I didn’t know about. He poked fun at political nonsense and generally made the world a better place just by being in it. When I read his obituary, I was expecting to read at least a few of these things. It mentioned he was a writer with one book (he had many) and about his surviving family. Really? That’s all you could write about him? We weren’t close, but even I have more to say about him than his obit. It reminded me of my grandmother’s funeral where the pastor was obviously reading from a script prepared for him, and her major accomplishments after 94 years on this earth included being married to a man who died in an accident decades before and she played softball. Wow. The culmination of 94 years, and the only thing anyone could think to ask the pastor to say about her outside her family life was that she played softball? It was a shame to witness such a lack of depth to her service. And later I realized he got all this from her obit. Wow.
Now, I know that not everyone can write New York Times-style obituaries (which tend to be pieces of art and wonderful tributes to those who have passed on, and generally dedicated to those who have accomplished great things, which not all of us have—or have we, but they just weren’t acknowledged by the greater population? But, I digress, as newspaper space is dwindling, and so, apparently, is the art of a beautiful tribute to a loved one.), and I know that it’s hard to think of good things to say about your dear departed one when you’re so overwrought with grief and being inundated with funeral details that need to be taken care of now. But for a man who spent his life writing and loving words, it seemed pitiful reading his scant obit. It was online, so space shouldn’t have been an issue. Even including a link to his poem that’s been shared umpteen times would have been something to attest to his memory. It’s too bad he didn’t have a chance to write his own obit. I’m sure it would have been beautiful.
R.I.P. Alan W. Jankowski. Without you, the world has lost a bit of its spark. Here is his poem, We Shall Never Forget (9/11 Tribute): https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/we-shall-never-forget-9-11-tribute/.
WordacCountability Tally March 14:
Short Stories: 903
Grand Total: 19,287