Everyone he knew was pushing him, enthusiastically cheering him on to write his life story. But Dave was modest in all ways, about the possibility that he or his life might be special. He had impostor syndrome as much as any of us, even though he lived large, authentically, and more fully than most people while trapped in that shitty, paralyzed body of his.
I call myself a reluctant biographer because he was supposed to write his story. He repeatedly tried to talk me into writing it, and I repeatedly strongly resisted doing so. I offered to take dictation and or edit because it was his story to tell in his words. I am not one to give in easily once I have taken up a position, but it’s not like I can argue with a dead guy at this point.
I am reluctant because what if I get it wrong? What if I can’t remember everything that needs to be said? I haven’t even finished grieving all the way yet or fully accepted that he is not here to laugh with about all of these ridiculous stories, including his perfectly timed, untimely death.
This book time travels through snippets of his epic failed autobiography. Failed because he died suddenly without notice or really starting his autobiography, not because he failed at life. He dictated a few skeletal drafts of oddly random stories-we’re talking less than five full pages of his very big life.
Quitting was uncharacteristic of him. He legitimately played the best excuse for not finishing something ever. Nothing is more epic than or beats death, right? He would have LOVED how perfect pulling the death card was for forcing me to finish what he wanted me to write for him in the first place. That was literally the very first thought that hit me when I got the bad news phone call that morning. “You really would go to any extreme to force me to write this! Damn it, Dave!!!”
So far, what I have experienced is that grief has infinite stages, sharp edges, and layers as unexpected, complicated, and as inevitable as death itself. More than a decade of years on, the irony is still hilarious as I laugh myself to the best of tears, talking with his friends, revisiting memories, trying to remember everything I can remember, creating this hybrid biogra-moir, and learning how to grieve in the process.
Thank you for checking out Viking Funeral, for checking out my brother Dave.