Sunday, March 29, 2009

Words From A Friend Who Watched his Best Friend Die from Pancreatic Cancer

Reposted from Scott's original Post.

A Guest Blog by Frank Chiarella,
One of Scott's dearest friends, and certainly one of mine.
Always and Forever, Frank, I love you.
You offered and Gave Scott unconditional love and Friendship
from the time you met him until he died.

You also provided my Mom and I--
A feeling of peace and safety.  I am so sorry about the recent death of your father.

You hold a special place in my heart--
Always Have and always will.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006
8.22.06, Guest Blog. Melancholy and Mystery of Family - A Salt Lake Journey by FGC

[Hey. Here's going to be a Guest Blog from Frank, from the Utah trip last week, a few days old but it's the process of digesting and the digest of processing that was required. Frank also gave it to me two days ago and the remainder is my process of putting off a bit, as is my wont. Today's Franky Scale is an 8, physically pretty good, emotionally very good, a visit from the Disenchanted Princess begins. Also, Mme X had a momentous day that I'm happy about and glad to share part of, so these things add up. Huge congrats to you X. Now, I'm just going to check some edits on the post and will be back with it shortly, tonight. I'll leave this up for most of tomorrow, and if I come with a post of substance I'll put it up at night. Peace.]

Guest Blog:

The Melancholy and Mystery of Family – A Salt Lake Journey.

Traveling across the country to visit a dying friend sucks. Never mind the crowds, crying babies, shoe removal and metal objects at the security points. It’s the anxiety of seeing your dying friend and the fact that you are fucking helpless to fix him. My visit with Mr. Jones was not my last precious moments with him but it crosses your mind. Is this the last time?

My visit with Mr. Jones and his family was bittersweet. When it comes to talking about families and the nuisances between all the players –well…. People in glasses houses, if you catch my drift. Three older sisters, a saint of a mother, a nonexistent father, partners, nephews, beautiful babies, the best fucking carrot cake I still think about, and the ubiquitous drama that exists between all families. A friend once told me spending time with families is like being around fish. After three days they start to stink. Amazingly,
It was five days and the fish remained edible.

We all cope with loss differently. I tend to cry a lot. I think about the living Scott and I have shared and put the impending death of my friend out of my mind until we started to talk about what to leave behind and executing a will. Then it hits you. That is living in the now, the harsh reality of losing a loved one, family or friend. It’s reality punching you in the Adam's apple, you can’t talk or even breathe…. So you just listen. Listen to your friend – Always.

The drama started before I even arrived at Sheri and Stepheni’s. The details are hard to grasp – almost unbelievable, and you wonder what the fuck was the person thinking. So I listened and listened more, digesting the events of earlier that day that I wasn’t around to see. A conflict of sorts between Mr. J and someone close to him. We all cope differently – Right?
Mr. Jones manned up and settled that one.

I spent hours with Sheri and Steph, and there was great pain in that too, the impending unbearable loss of a brother who may be put on a pedestal but I have to say… rightly so. I stood under a full moon with a grieving sister who no doubt loves her brother and we tried to make sense of the senseless.

I visited Stepheni at her office to steal her wheels and met her coworkers,
Who all knew Mr. Jones from this blog. The palpable concern and genuine emotion from all of them was there too; more coping skills and support from distantly related, somewhat anonymous blog readers, who were in the midst of a dying cyber celebrity.
Greetings and gratitude to you guys at the Data Center from Mr. McMahon,
(ask Steph to explain that one).

The big Sunday family get together was marred somewhat by the lack of some family not posting, showing up, on what will most likely be the last time you will all be together…at least with Scott in SLC. I can’t remember the excuse given for why “they” did not come, that is something they will have to live with.
Sue and Susan were fantastic hosts and coping skills were again ever present-- with good food, conversation, and stories; and for the few times when the harsh reality of Mr. Jones’s condition slipped in, I was aided with help from my “nurse” who made the name “Collins” proud.
To all Scott’s nieces and nephews you were huge to come and show your uncle how much you care. In the end it is your family that will always come through. After the party, Mr. J and I paid our respects to Daniel at his grave and he reflected on his own loss, losing Daniel. The mystery of his nephew’s life and death still haunts him. The sun began to fall and cast long shadows on the tombstones as we left, That moment will remain with me forever.

Finally, how will I ever forget looking into the eyes of a grieving mother struggling with the loss of her only son? Nadine, you will always be in my heart. If the miracle you want happens I will sign up with Mr. Smith. Your bran muffins and carrot cake are made with huge love, and as I walked by the pan of carrot cake and stole another fraction of your cake, each time I realized food is yet another coping program. It is also comforting, knowing it was made by you with love. Nadine, I love you for your honesty and admire your faith.
More importantly, thank you for giving me the pleasure of knowing your son.
I hope to one day share all your infinite wisdom with my own family, along with my many memories of your son.

Sheri and Steph* – thank you for your hospitality again – I love you both!
Mr. Jones….. I am always listening. NO pain please! Do what ever it takes….but please…no pain for you.


Posted by Mr. Jones at 10:33 PM


Slarry said...
Dear Mr. Frank:

I am a grieving sister and you, the loyal and ultimate ( grieving) friend. We were as one, under the full moon that night; our tears flowing freely, taking solace in each other’s company. Completely unified in the knowledge, that he, Mr. Jones, is unique in all the world. The thought of him not being available to learn, love and laugh with, the loss of Scott--- the most unbearable pain we could imagine. 

You are like my “other brother”--
such fine and similar characteristics; characteristics and gifts that Mr. Jones has always freely, unconditionally provided and offered me: feelings of safety, a sense of calm and stability, keeping me grounded and the warmth and comfort that can come, when one feels understood by a sibling and a loyal friend. I thank both you and Scott for that-- for years of making me feel understood and loved.

What a gift you are ... such joy, comfort and renewed strength you brought with you from New York, showering it on every one of us. For Steph and I, you truly are our favorite. Not only a term of endearment that we have always said concerning you; you are the real deal, our dear, dear friend, and for me personally, like a second brother. Thank you for that. We love you more than we can articulate, probably more than you know.

Your genuine attentiveness, concern and admiration towards our Mother, probably added years to her life. I want to thank you for that and more. Sometimes the one’s who deserve our admiration the most, the people who teach and love us unconditionally, get thanked less often. Thank you for appreciating and enjoying Scott’s Mom, my Mom, as we do. She is a Saint and does make the best Bran muffins. But you also scored a full pan of carrot cake as well. : ) That is huge, my friend.

Other than mine and Steph’s love and gratitude for you and how you have helped us through many emotional and difficult moments, I mostly want to thank you and acknowledge the great friendship you and Scott share. It is a thing of sheer beauty-- and helps this grieving sister, feel a little less anxious about my brother’s impending death. 

I try not to think about it-- try and stay present in the here and now, but the fact remains that my favorite person is suffering unimaginable pain and having his beautiful life, his beautiful mind cut far too short. This is where the senselessness comes, my trying to understand and believe that this is really happening. And it does bring with it questions about the meaning and purpose of life--- why Scott? Why a terminal cancer? He is the healthiest man I know. And especially, why my favorite person, the one I lean on and learn from the most? The one person in our family, other than our Mother, who has the most to offer this world.
I will never understand.

And to my brother: reading, hearing about and observing, at times, your level of discomfort, anguish and pain, is so harsh and unbearable. I hate the pain. I hate that you are suffering and that there is not one stinking thing I can do about it. I can’t fix it. But I am here and I can listen, always.

Thank you Mr. Frank for writing your third guest blog. For stepping up and having the courage to tell it like it is. The “no shows,” the absent and anonymous father--- but also, and most importantly, appreciating the greatness and unique impact that my brother has on others. Also, for the perfect example and a testament to true friendship. You are a class act, my friend. Selfless, and darn influential as well. You too, leaving your mark- imprints in the hearts of many.

You are huge Franky and we love you. Can’t wait to see you again.
This is not good-bye. My plan is to be wherever my brother is. So I will hook up with you there soon. Hopefully, there will be a hot tub for you to splash around in. I’ll try not to peek. : )

 Big, big love to my brother. And to Ms. X, I congratulate and celebrate you too.
Scott, you have some great and supportive friends. So loving, so loyal, so cool. But really, how could one not be drawn to you?
Don’t worry-- I won’t do the pedestal thing. It is just that I love and care for you so much and for so many reasons. You have been an unequalled gift in my life, equally as long. You remain so, and always and forever, will be my most precious. 

Thank you again, franky. And love you most and infinitely my brother.

 xo, Sheri

Give Gill, the Princess and Ted a hug for me.

8:28 AM, August 23, 2006
34DD said...
Wow! - it's hard to top that comment so I won't dare try. I'm just glad that Francis was able to write down his thoughts about the trip to see Mr. J - the stories have been spilling out all week. Thanks to S & S for taking such great care of my boy & your boy & to your mom who kept them well fed! Everyone needs a little comfort food now and then. 

Mr Jonsey - I'm psyched that yesterday was an 8. I hope today is an 11. No more pain. Please tell Miss K we said HEEEEYYYYY and give her a squeeze for me (wink wink :) oxoxoxo lot's of love and good thoughts from NY.

ADDENDUM: Sir Frank, thank you for this and many, many other acts of unconditional loveand Grace. Scott loved you so much- but you already know that. Please know that we do too. Hope this finds you well.  
Forever & Always, you truly are our FAVORITE! loves, Sheri and Steph*

* deleted. 03/28/09