Tuesday, April 12, 2011

River Soul

Last week, we buried a friend. Bill passed away from liver complications which led to internal bleeding, transfusions, and a respirator that was eventually turned off.

Basically, our friend slowly drank himself to death.

He was only 41 years old.

I met Bill (and his twin brother!) at the same time I met my husband. We all worked at the same restaurant, and spent many midnight hours together -- playing texas hold-em at poker parties hosted at the Murphy homestead. Talking and drinking at bars that usually offered karaoke (me) and darts or pool (hubs and Bill.)

I'd probably only seen Bill twice since hubs and I got married in 2008. Things change. All of us stopped working at the restaurant.

Actually, Bill's twin brother still works there. His name is Scott, but we all call him Shaka. He's the gay twin, so he's invited when the restaurant gals and I get together for dinner. And he attended my "Preggers or Porn" baby shower, though he showed up so late that most of the guests had already gone. (He brought me Butt Paste for the baby. He said it was the perfect gift for him to bring. These are among the reasons I love him.)

So, Shaka and Bill are very close, obviously, because they are twin brothers. They have almost always lived together, even in adulthood. They have almost always worked at the same job -- until the last two years.

Bill has two sons, college aged kids. The oldest is awesome and responsible. The youngest is in and out of more trouble than you'd want to know about. Bill raised them as a single dad -- the boys' mom walked out years and years ago. In truth, Shaka helped a lot on the parental front.

Bill died last Sunday, April 3. His funeral was Wednesday.

It was a bad day.

Shaka stood by the casket, greeting friends and family at the pre-service visitation. I'd thought of how hard it would be to lose your twin -- at any age, really -- but I'd only thought of it in terms of feeling like a piece of you was missing.

I hadn't thought about looking down at a face in a coffin and seeing the spitting image of yourself. That's messed up.

And though it was supposed to be a "celebration of life," it was hard to feel very celebratory during the funeral.

Ber and Bill... in the good ol' days.
After, some friends went to a restaurant on the riverfront to have a bite to eat and decompress. The drink special was something fruity and girly, but I ordered one... it was called "River Soul."

41 years old. It just isn't fair.