My wife lost a brother last week, Turk Schonert.
His mother and brother feel that loss deeply as well.
I do too, as do my son and daughter and Craig’s family, his brother.
I wonder about loss like this. It affects us in painful ways of course. How much, how deeply, how long, how recoverable? Turk left a lot of fun and glitter behind him. Quite a few people remember him kindly and playfully and dearly. Do the amount of memories we have of someone factor into the depth of our grieving? Does knowing someone more deeply mean we grieve more deeply?
“Grief is simply love in its most wild and painful form,” says Megan Devine. “It is a natural and sane response to loss.”
I think so. I can’t measure it of course, but I see it in his family, the ones closest to him feel the deepest loss. That makes sense. But loss is not like a product that can be marketed, parceled out to different stores and sold to different consumers.
It’s more of a current in the air, a zephyr, a breeze that chills, an electricity that shocks, a glare that blinds. It’s unavoidable, but not containable, painful but hard to observe.
Turk was a great guy, fun filled, positive, thoughtful, generous and stoic in the best sense. My family had many good experiences with him, mostly revolving around football games and players. He invited us into his world, more identified with sports celebrities, and made us feel like we belonged there, always did in fact.
Celebrities seem to struggle with the divide they are a part of. They are often in another class, on a pedestal as it were because of their fame. I never saw that with Turk. To be sure, he is not that famous, unless you are in Cincinnati I imagine. Sounds like he’s pretty famous there. But I don’t think any of it made him much different than you or I .
He was often the life of the party when he was around my family, that’s true. But it was effortless for him and he really didn’t need to be or seek to be, he just was. I appreciated the way he included my wife, his sister in his life over the years, everything from Christmas gifts to sports talk to Super Bowl ticket’s in Miami on the 50 yard line for Deb and me. He knew how to include us and made us feel special. And he was good to my son and daughter as well. I would have liked to see him around for another decade or two, nobody will take his place in my family. The memories help and they heal and they hurt, I’m very glad we have so many good ones of Turk.