At David's memorial service, Paul talked about my sister's murder and said he grew up knowing very little about her or her death (he was a toddler when she died). I was not aware of deliberately not discussing her but since she hadn't done much after her death, there wasn't much more to talk about.
But Paul said he didn't want that to happen to Dave. He didn't want Dave to be "just the one who died." He wrote a song about him, which he performed, and David was featured prominently in Paul's monologue show, "Sedona, Arizona." He said that was the way that Karen felt to him...she was just the one who died.
Both Paul and David died before Facebook and the explosion of social media and I think it's fair to say that neither of them will ever be "just the one who died." Each year on their birthdays and on the anniversaries of their death there are many people who post things about them -- photos or comments -- and dozens more who respond to those.
My friend Ron, who died last year, and who met Paul only once, told me one year when I posted this photo:
that he was always happy to see this picture whenever I posted it, because he liked it so much. Other people post pictures of Paul and/or David on their special days. Jeri posted this yesterday.
This is Dave with the cat he and Jeri owned, when they were sharing an
We have our traditions surrounding the two of them. Every year on Paul's birthday, his friend Jessica takes a small jar of mayonnaise to put on his grave, because he hated mayonnaise so much and it's her way of reminding him that she's still angry.
On each birthday, Walt and I go out for sushi, which came about because Paul and I used to have sushi together whenever Walt was out of town and we went to a sushi place one year to celebrate both boys' birthdays (Jan 29, Feb 5) and so we
continue the tradition.
And, because Kraft Macaroni and cheese was David's favorite meal -- he had it for lunch every day for years -- we served it at his memorial service and I cook it for dinner every year. (Somehow it doesn't taste as good as it used to!)
I wonder what Brianna and Lacie will think of Paul and David as they grow up. We talk about Uncle Dave and Uncle Paul all the time, but will that translate into their being "just the ones who died"? I don't know, but thanks to the
internet, they are certainly being remembered a lot more than Karen ever has been. We're doing out best to make sure they aren't "just the ones who died." I hope that makes Paul happy.