The Mirror

If you are new to this blog of the upcoming book Viking Funeral, celebrating the life of Dave Linane with booze, words, and fire, welcome.  The timeline above shows you where we are in the book. While each chapter can stand on its own if you wish to read from the beginning, click here.  More info is available, About Dave or the FAQ section explains who the book is about and the arc of the storyline. If you found me through a grief group, this page of my perspective of why we are all here in this place right now may be helpful. XO M


I avoided talking to Brian specifically about how he was feeling that week as we all prepared my mom’s house and yard for our Viking Funeral. When Anne and Randy arrived from Virginia and first saw Brian, she who is not afraid to face difficult things did ask him specifically, “How ya doin, Brian?” He honestly answered, “My best friend just died, so uh, NOT GOOD!” She just hugged him. I was worried about hearing him speak on behalf of our Viking Warrior for fear of being torn to shreds as simple bystanders. I think most people were concerned for him maybe more than any of us.

Theirs was a role model of friendship that I remember from the time I was 18 months old, until that day in July, which had been my entire existence of awareness. Besides having a key to our house, he taught me how to drive, I babysat his kids and learned about music, practical jokes, silly and serious things in life through these two knuckleheads, these two Dumb and Dumber Blues Brothers, these two friends.

Brian’s words were beautifully heartfelt and so thoughtfully gifted to us. His humor far outshined his grief for the sake of everyone present. His story of meeting, connecting, and entangling with Dave was hilarious and comforting to me, to us, to everyone. I simply do not recall an important occasion or milestone in our family that Brian was not with us or that Dave was not with him until that milestone that night. It was unavoidable and could not have been more perfect.  Ultimately, the minutes that Brian and each subsequent person spoke that night were brief, a mere beautiful flash of lightning compared to what they each repeatedly gave with their presence in Dave’s roughly 28 million minutes of life on this earth. I am so grateful for every word, every adventure, every fucking tear.

Obviously, not everything is fun and games and hilarious in this life. No lifetime exists without the extremes, from the most joyful joys to the darkest grievous moments: these extremes and everything in between they faced together in supportive friendship. Brian and Dave were the kinds of friends who were able to talk through the many difficulties they each faced, different challenges yes, but similar, heartbreak, frustrations, fears. They were the check and balance for the other. Dave presented his best to the world, but I have to assume that with Brian, he confided some of his challenges in a way that he may not have shared with anyone else. I don’t want to ask Brian about it because it feels like a breach of Doctor-patient confidentiality going both directions. I walked in the room in the middle of enough conversations or dialed the phone for Dave enough times to know they weren’t talking about celebrity gossip. In the best relationships, the roles of give-and-take are balanced and traverse back and forth with clarity and guidance as needed.

Dave was Brian’s best man for Brian in the obvious traditional sense we all think of, and although Dave never married, Brian was Dave’s best man, always figuratively or actually putting his arm around Dave one way or another, looking out for him, including him, enriching Dave’s life, creating, embracing, sharing an enduring friendship. Sometimes we cannot see some of the most beautiful parts of ourselves for a variety of crazy reasons, but they exist, and others can and do see them. Brian modestly does not see himself as the great friend that he was to Dave because he felt lucky to have everyone’s favorite Dave as his best friend. As an active observer of the friendship of a lifetime, holding up a mirror aligned to both sides of this duo just right, a great guy is a reflection of those around him, the reflections exist going both ways…infinitely.

© Mardi Linane Copyright 2020

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