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In Memoriam

The world is slightly less bright today, having lost one of its lights. My fun-loving friend, Kevin Slattery (you may know him as "Slatts", if you've been around LiveJournal for a long while) has moved on to other (and I hope, more peaceful) shores. I am glad we got to keep him so long, and sorry it couldn't be longer, but I'm glad he did things on his own terms. May his memory be a blessing.

Here's a poem I wrote for Kevin a while back, after his cancer diagnosis. It's the penultimate poem in my chapbook, The Universe Comes Knocking.

Let's Make It a Long Goodbye
for Kevin

The kind they have at some wakes,
where everyone has to share just
one more story about the deceased
or family members past or present.

The kind where you say the words,
but the parting never comes,
like my Jewish relations do,
standing, coats on, purses ready,

for a good half an hour after
the first "it's time to go,"
passage of time and coming
of darkness be damned.

The kind where you stand
in the front hall for so long
that you have to start the departure
over again from the start.

The kind with smudged lipstick
kisses on cheeks. The kind kids hate,
since it almost always involves
pinched cheeks or ruffled hair.

I know a Jewish goodbye isn't
true to your background. Your ancestors
came from the greenest land on earth,
gifting you with stories and songs.

And I know that eventually,
the actual leave-taking will come.
And when it does, my friend,
then I hope, in fact, that you

follow the heart of your heritage:
Leave everyone standing around
talking and drinking together, while
you split quietly out the side door.

My pantoum from two weeks ago was written with Kevin in mind, too. He will be missed.



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Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
docstymie
May. 20th, 2015 02:35 pm (UTC)
Awwww. That's lovely. <3
kellyrfineman
May. 20th, 2015 03:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Doc.
annamlewis
May. 20th, 2015 05:16 pm (UTC)
Beautiful, Kelly!
Love to all the wonderful peeps in the Writer/Artist LJ world.
kellyrfineman
May. 21st, 2015 12:33 pm (UTC)
Yesterday was a rough day. Kevin was such a good friend to so many people.
robinellen
May. 21st, 2015 02:09 am (UTC)
I was sorry to hear of his passing, but yes, I trust he's already involved in his next great adventure. (((HUGS)))
kellyrfineman
May. 21st, 2015 12:34 pm (UTC)
He was the sort of guy to cheer for everyone, so I'm glad to see so many people cheering him on.
artistq
May. 21st, 2015 02:25 am (UTC)
<3 this
<3 him
<3 you
kellyrfineman
May. 21st, 2015 12:34 pm (UTC)
<3 you, too
deenaml
May. 21st, 2015 02:29 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry for your loss, and that of his other friends and family. I didn't "know" him, but saw him on lots of kidlit LJ threads over the years. <3
kellyrfineman
May. 21st, 2015 12:35 pm (UTC)
He wasn't even a kidlit guy, really, just a tremendous fan and supporter. I will miss him something fierce. Thanks for your kind words.
boreal_owl
May. 21st, 2015 03:55 pm (UTC)
Hugs, Kelly.
kellyrfineman
May. 22nd, 2015 02:36 pm (UTC)
And to you, Barb.
TS Davis
May. 21st, 2015 08:57 pm (UTC)
Splitting out the side door...
Here's to someplace better, love. May his memory be a blessing.
kellyrfineman
May. 22nd, 2015 02:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Splitting out the side door...
Thanks, Tanita. There's no way Kevin's memory isn't a blessing. He was just one of those people, y'know?
(Deleted comment)
kellyrfineman
May. 22nd, 2015 02:37 pm (UTC)
I really miss him. He was such a tireless cheerleader.
lizjonesbooks
May. 22nd, 2015 03:37 pm (UTC)
<3
jeannineatkins
May. 22nd, 2015 11:30 pm (UTC)
sending hugs
I love the end of this poem in particular, but all the warmth throughout. I know you miss that smile, and that rare enthusiasm for all things creative. It is something to be missed, that one who says, Keep going! while keeping on himself. xo
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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