The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Thursday, May 29, 2008



It has been more than a week since my brother-in-law, David, suddenly passed away.

I can't stop thinking about him.

I see him in the coffin -- talk about a bad make-up job. Where do these people learn that skill? Or better, where CAN they learn that it is a skill? When my stepfather died he was so overly made-up that he looked transgender. I make no judgements, but I knew him -- this was a man who admired John Wayne and would not have minded going out looking like him instead of the lead character from "Hairspray."

I joke, because so did David. He was one of the happiest people I have ever met. His body in repose was in contrast to the smiling picture that stood beside him. He was so alive in that photo. So lifeless in that box.

Judging from the overflowing church, the words that were said about him and the loud sobs that were heard -- he was deeply beloved.

On top of his coffin was a beautiful spray of flowers that said, "Daddy." They were from his only child, his daughter, Tiffany. Theirs was, in my mind, the perfect father-daughter relationship. She was very much daddy's girl. Having never been one myself, and always desiring that role, I would listen with longing to their playful, easy banter. The love between them was evident.

There is a deep bond between mother and daughter, as well, but David adored his daughter, and she, him.

Tiffany is also a dutiful daughter. Her parents asked that she get her undergraduate and graduate degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford in four years, so it would cost less. She did so this past summer at only 21 -- and with honors. She would do anything for them, and they for her. That is why Tiffany took so much control in the planning of his funeral, from the perfect music to the heartbreaking PowerPoint photo presentation on the fifty-inch plasma TV. This was, afterall, the Silicon Valley. The funeral had to be high-tech. It was a daughter's final act for her father and she was going to do it right.

At the funeral, his brother, Sam, gave the most eloquent speech one sibling could give to another. David's boss, a high-ranking company titan, spoke extemporaneously, took a deep breath, said he was going to cry, and did.

As did everyone else.

When my husband, John, had to leave his mother to go to the front of the church to greet guests before the ceremony, I nudged my stepson, Jay, and whispered, "Comfort Grandma." Jay rose, at 15 not quite five feet, seven inches, but he stood more than six feet tall as he gently put his arm around her shoulder and patted it.

When John returned he took his son's place, while Jay joined my six-year old daughter, Mimi, and me, in the second pew. I nudged John and whispered, "Comfort your mother." (Why do mothers and wives always have to tell their sons and husbands what to do -- even at times like this?) John put his arm around her shoulder and patted it, in the exact way his son had.

One man came from as far away as Singapore and spoke about what a good person David is, was. It is so hard to speak in the past tense about a person who is still very much alive to you. Who you still want to be alive with you.

David was one of the last people I thought would pass so soon. He was such a great guy who touched so many lives in such a positive way.

Though I only knew him for 10 years it is hard to imagine even a month without his happy countenance.

David did something I think most of us hope to do.

He left footprints.

By Dawn Yun


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Dawn - I am so sorry for your loss and that of your family. My prayers are with you.

Writing Mama in Austin, Diane
What a lovely tribute. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Hey Dawn - I'm so so sorry to hear/read your so so sad news.
Best to you and all who will be missing him
MIA writing mama
Robyn (Murphy)
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