As I walked away that day I felt a sense of relief. Little did I know this would only begin the painful process of acceptance. Process and acceptance both being independent of predictable time and space and completely out of my control.
This morning I had a flash memory of Kyal as I scraped the grounds from the edge of the coffee maker, not knowing why, I began thinking about a road trip we took into Montana when we were 18. We stayed in a sleazy motel in a small town near Bozeman. As we arrived at the hotel we were graciously greeted by a large Native American man wearing a complete western cowboy outfit. We asked him about the obviously run down motel and dismal town, he pulled his trench coat open like a well-rehearsed Central Park flasher and showed us a large gun tucked into his pants. “You fellas don’t have anything to worry about around here.” he said. Unfortunately we missed the safety message he was trying to convey in his “welcome to Montana boys”. I got very little sleep that night thanks to the couple next door who obviously loved each other very much. The following day Kyal feverishly scratched lottery tickets that were not yet available in Idaho. He complained of the noise from the previous night and we laughed about the giant cowboy with the with a gun.
Good times are easy to remember. Good thoughts are easy to access. Sad stories are difficult to tell and loss is never really loss since it sticks so stubbornly to one’s mental hooks. The story of Kyal is a sad one. It is a story of a man who died at the hands of a schizophrenic step brother whom he deeply loved. The brutal nature of his death made it very difficult for many of us to cope, especially his wife and kids. The years have passed by so fast yet the memories stay firmly in place for me to pick through. So I have picked through the rubble to bring a vision of Kyal to 140 weight paper in the form of sharpie and marker. Here you go my friend. You will never be forgotten.