The Grief in Goodbye

Life. Unexpected. Mercurial. Wonderful. Terrible.

This post was meant to be about something else. It was meant to be a goodbye and thank you to our amazing, fantastic workamper crew that made our summer here at Camp CDA so magical. That will have to wait.

Instead~ it is a tribute to a life cut short too early. A tribute to the loss of Jim’s younger brother, Todd.

When I first met Jim his brother, the youngest in the family, was still in high school and so it turned out we spent a fair amount of time together simply because he was “there”.

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As the years passed he moved to California for a time before returning to Oregon to marry and have his first son, Andy. Times were good with us visiting his young family at the lake and getting to know each other as adults.

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Years passed and with them came a divorce, a new marriage, two more delightful children, and a move to the Portland area. As often happens, life was busy. Often holidays and the occasional nephew’s baseball game were the main moments spent together. This life we lead brings us a wonderfully extended tribe, all while also carrying us away from those we have known the longest.

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When we left Oregon three years ago to embark on this nomadic life, we knew time with family & friends would be even sporadic and it was. Perhaps more so with Todd than others. Brothers are often bad at keeping in touch and our life on the road and his life as a family man rarely found middle ground.

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Luckily for all, this last year and a bit found us frequently crisscrossing Oregon from or to here and there and so we got to reconnect. Again luckily we were not far away when a tragic accident claimed his life and we, alongside the rest of the family, were able to come together to say goodbye one last time.

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The grief and shock have not lessened. We have lost others, Jim’s oldest sister April and my own mother, along with grandparents and friends. Yet the dramatic and unexpected losses can be the toughest to take. Those left behind often struggle with guilt over things left unsaid. I am extraordinarily grateful that the most recent communications between brothers were filled with love and support.

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We are so incredibly blessed in this life. We have an amazing family, great friends, and an adventurous lifestyle. We have consciously chosen this life because we understand the importance of taking a sundowner each day to embrace gratitude for each day and for the ability to live life on our terms. And yet moments like these come along and bring you to your knees. They remind you that none of us know just how much time we are granted here on earth. They further affirm that each day is precious and must be lived to the fullest. They make you aware of just how small we are in the grand scheme of the universe.

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And so, today, we take this chance to remember Todd. To remember his infectious grin and funloving personality. To remember his sensitive stomach and his insane ability to be in the middle of a sentence, turn aside to vomit, and keep talking as though nothing had happened. To remember his sarcastic, witty sense of humor. To remember weddings and births and a thousand little moments that made up his life. And to especially remember his overwhelming love for his children.

R.I.P. brother. Until we meet again~

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10 thoughts on “The Grief in Goodbye

  1. Jim and Ronda, we are so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in our prayers.

  2. So sorry to hear this guys, it must be an emotional time. Your wrote a really moving tribute though Rhonda. Take care both of you x

    • Thanks so much, Dave! And please accept our deep condolences on losing Sora. So much grief. Thinking of you guys.

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