Dear Vern

It has been a while since I have written to you, but today is a tough one, so I thought I would drop you a line.

Today is the first Anniversary of your death. The year since, has been one of the toughest I have ever had. The shock of your passing, the depression and grief that followed, the slow journey out of that fog, and the drive to pick myself up and to achieve the things I needed to do… it has been a long year.

I miss you terribly. In the year you have been gone, we have seen Brexit happen, Donald Trump Elected, and hold power. We have seen terrorist attacks across the world, we have seen celebrations and heartache. Elections and mass movements, events, large and small. The world marched on, as it always does, none the wiser that you had left. For me I would sit there and say continually, “I wish Vern was here.” And I know there are many who know you who have felt the same way.

I miss our conversations, our political arguments. I miss having a foil, someone whom I trust, and someone who will challenge me. Not because you thought I was wrong, though you thought I often was, but because you knew I could do better with my argument. And turnabout was fair play. We challenged each other politically, socially, and emotionally. I miss having that confidant who would tell me the blunt side of things. Being a bit rough to get the point across, but having the love behind it to know you actually cared.

There has been a hole in my life, that you have left behind, and I struggle every day with it.

In the last year, I see more of you in me. The way I approach things, or how I view perspectives. A few months ago, I realised that I am almost to the age where you met me, and thinking back, what it must have been like to have an upstart 22 year old challenging you left, left, and center. I feel like I get you better now than I ever have before, and I don’t have you to talk about it.

I am still working on the things we discussed in our last big discussion. I am still trying to find a way to get that PhD. It may take time, but it will happen.

I miss your inappropriateness. How you would make that off-off-off color joke and everyone cringe. I miss how you always went for the crass joke, even for the 100th time. I miss your hobbit references anytime New Zealand came up, even if I was annoyed at them.

I remember, in Iceland, the guys staying at our house played King/Asshole, and over the night, we talked about life, goals, where we wanted to be. We asked each other probing and heartfelt questions, and it was an incredible evening. I wish we could have had more of those.

I think back to this day last year… and… its nearly impossible to contemplate how I was able to keep it as together as I did. The trip back to the US, the mourning, the grappling without you to somehow guide us. I remember sitting in your office the previous May, talking about “If things progressed” not knowing that 6 weeks later it would be reality.


I want to close before I get too emotional… I know that I have always been the more emotional one between the two of us. But… I miss you deeply, and I hope you are proud of me. I hope that I have done you well in this last year handling this, and I hope that I can achieve those things we talked about. I am on my way, and trust that in many ways, you a reason why I push so hard on myself, your belief in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself, is why I always strive to be the best I can be.

Take care, I miss you, until the next letter.


ps: Bailey the pug is amazing. She is everything I have ever wanted in a dog. I know you would love her so much and be thrilled at all the pictures of her.

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