Yup, it’s been five years

Five years since I felt his last heartbeat. Hard to believe, huh? Sometimes it feels like it was 20 years ago, other times it seems like we were fishing just a couple weeks ago.

Fucking tore me up when he died. And if it wasn’t bad enough that I’d just lost my father and my best friend, all of a sudden I was the Man of the House – had to be strong for everybody else, you know? All within about 15 seconds, too. I’m talking no break-in time whatsoever.
Even worse, I had to be there. I couldn’t just take off and head up to Sonora Pass for a couple days to be by myself and think things out like I usually did when Life threw me a curve. No more running away for you, bro. Time to be a Big Boy.

They say that time heals all wounds. I don’t know about healing but it does soften them. It’s a rare thing when Time is merciful.
It does seem like a lot longer than five years though. I don’t think of him as much as I used to. It’s not an every day five times a day thing any more. At some point you just gotta let it go.

Five years.
The night he died….. there was a half dozen people in the room with him and he was resting quietly, heavily sedated. The others were gathered together in one part of the bedroom and I was next to him with one hand holding his and the other on his chest. Man, I knew he was that fucking close. You can just tell, yeah?
His heart went from a steady beat to nothing in about 5 seconds flat. It was that quick. And my father and a part of me was dead.

Dying is part of living and that fact of life is something we all eventually learn. The death of a close friend or relative is just not something that we get used to dealing with. It hurts every fucking time. I suppose that’s a good thing but I really can’t imagine how.

About the only time I can think of when I just felt really pissed off at a close friend that died was when Matt got drunk and rolled his truck. Motherfucker owed me 500 bucks, man, and I really needed the money. I’m still pissed about that.

Mom had Pop’s little dog put to sleep last week. That was a hateful, nasty little dog – a 17 year old bitch chihuahua if that tells you anything. It only had about half it’s teeth because somebody was forever smacking the shit out of it for biting. Anyways, she had the little fucker cremated and she’s going to bury the ashes in his grave tomorrow.

Do me a favor. If you have a drink or a beer today, raise one up for Kirk. He’d like that. Somebody needs to do it and it’s gonna be another 9 days before I can afford to.


Here he is shooting some 41 magnum 10 or 15 years back.


Here he is knocking back a beer with Mom.


Here he is with his last salute.

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51 Responses to Yup, it’s been five years

  1. Skip says:

    Lost my Bride of twenty years last month. I was her caretaker for the last eight years.
    Fuck, I miss that lady…so much.
    Now I’m rattling around the house talkin’ to her and myself.

    My ole’ man was a an asshole, my Mom was a saint, and I know where they both ended up.
    I think I’ll take a trip. Don’t know, and don’t care where I’ll end up.
    I know you and Pops was tight, I feel that.
    Mom and the Bride are watchin’ to see if I fuck up..I don’t think I will.

  2. Lofty says:

    I have been around here long enough to remember his passing…I feel your loss Ken and understand it completely.

    I raise a glass to Kirk as we speak.

  3. Glider Rider says:

    Beautiful man.

  4. skybill says:

    Hi Kenny,
    I Remember……….
    My heart goes out to you…….

  5. T Rose says:

    Yep, no time to mourn for yourself because everyone needs that rock to rest on and then one day years from that point in time you break down and finally get it over. So it was with me. Lost my mom at the same time my oldest was born. The night he was released from the hospital I beat feet to mom and dad’s home, she couldn’t hold a toothbrush, but she sat up in bed and held the boy for 10 minutes before she said to take him before she dropped him. That night she went into a coma and never came out. No Christmas, Thanksgiving, or birthdays with Omaw. No homemade baked bread or cakes or pies she was famous for. I feel your loss, and yes sir, I’ll hoist one in honor of your dad!

  6. Ed says:

    Sorry for your loss, Kenny, deepest condolences. My Dad passed suddenly back in ’82. He was only 52 years old. Still miss him but it’s more like a dull ache than a deep burn. It’ll get a bit better with time but of course never goes away.

    My Mom is 83 and still doing well, but I’m spending a lot of time these past years since I retired (and my Stepdad passed away the day after I retired in 2011) doing activities with her, I know time is not on our side and I won’t ever regret it.

    Here’s one for your Dad, Salud, Cheers, Na Zdorovie!

  7. Everett R Littlefield says:

    Hi Ken, Funny about coincidences and how they happen. Five years ago today, I had the aortic valve in my ticker replaced, and the other is that my number three sons name is also Kirk! Named after James Tiberius Kirk of Star Trek fame, by his then 9 year old sister! I still miss my Dad and he has been gone for 42 years, err, I’m about to turn 80 in two months. Was wondering if you ever got that gift card I sent you? Have a good one Dude!

    • Wirecutter says:

      I did receive the card a couple months back and sent you a nice thank you via email. I’m sorry if you didn’t get it, but again, thank you very much.

  8. Granny says:

    As another Father’s Day approaches, I am reminded of my Dad. I, like you think of my darling Dad nearly every day for some damned reason or another. Usually when I am about to do something utterly stupid. He taught me so much, and gave me a hiding when i needed it. He also gave me unconditional love. Vale Dad.
    Thanks for sharing your memories with us.
    To all of you who are lucky enough to still have your Fathers with you, celebrate with him and lift a glass to let the old duffer that you value him and love him.

  9. Towser says:

    Ken, Count your blessings. My own “father” died a few years back – I’m not sure when but I was told at the time. After never having seen him since after I learned he actually WAS my father, I reached out to him via my newfound half-sister. She agreed to approach him. He didn’t want to talk about me. And then he died.I did have a long conversation with my uncle. I called him out of the blue. He didn’t know I existed but didn’t put this past his brother. It was he who suggested I call my half sister. She was a bit more shocked but accepting. She even sent pictures of our family and offered to submit to a dna test to verify things. I declined. There are other things but space is limited. Point is, you had a father and a good one at that. I don’t mean to sound harsh but I thought another perspective might be helpful.

  10. Mike says:

    thank you for inviting me in to your life stories every day. A good laugh or cry and some nice titties thrown in for good measure.
    and a drink to those we have lost.
    A heart without scars hasn’t lived.!
    to your oldman

  11. cato1776 says:

    It’s been 11 years since my younger brother passed, 10 since my loss of Dad, Mom and two very young grandchildren passed and 9 years for my best friend of 50 years.
    I was a tough stretch amidst a pretty blessed life.
    I miss them all none the less.
    There are times the sun doesn’t shine nearly as brightly.

    May they all rest in Peace.
    Memories of a good person is a Blessing that lasts a lifetime.

  12. Odgreen says:

    Well, if you aren’t the spitting image of your ol’ man I’ll eat a primary cover. Time does heal the wounds, bro. My pop passed 3 months before my oldest son was born, never got the chance to see his grandson. Missed out on all the others, too. I was lucky, I got to tell him I loved him and heard those words from him too. Drinking my morning coffee, getting ready for church, it ain’t beer but I’m hoisting it in his honor Ken.

  13. H says:

    Lost my daddy in 2001, a few days before 911. I’m very sorry to tell you it doesn’t get any easier with the passage of time.

    Enjoy them while you got ’em, them of you what still does.

  14. Red in OleVirginny says:

    Cheers – lifting a glass now for your Pops. I don’t know you but I know the feeling – we have shared this loss.
    Somehow we find the strength – the sun keeps rising even if we sometimes don’t want it to.
    I believe God will allow you to see him again one day.
    Best Regards,
    Red in OleVirginny

  15. favill says:

    All the best, WC. Thank you for sharing your cherished memories of your dad.

  16. Doug Williams says:

    so sorry for your loss, wish I had some words of comfort but there really isn’t any

  17. RKflorida says:

    Makes me think of my Dad. He’s been gone 29 years now and it still hurts. Damn, I miss him.

  18. James says:

    Will be coming up on 3 years since me dad died in a month.I had a great week with him at his Vt. home the last time I saw him and am at peace with his death.His wife though,I will always hate as she did not call and tell me about my dads condition,I truly believe was so she could wrap up everything to be a financial win for her upon his death as he was well to do.I know I should but doubt will ever find peace with this and perhaps was stolen a chance to save me dad as he killed himself.

    Thus,will just try and remember the good times with him,Ken,I raise a cup of coffee to your dad,sorry not say #7 but drinking booze for me not a great idea this point in me life.

  19. wes says:

    “You never lose what you don’t forget” – Mr Franks

    Salute to your pops,

    Feel for you, my dad’s gone too, eight years now.


  20. Odysseus says:

    When I was a few months old, I was adopted by a couple who promptly divorced. She was a raging alcoholic, and he remarried. I went to foster care.

    I went to live with her eventually; she would go on periodic binges, and leave us with her parents. Her Dad was the only “father” I ever knew. I told him I loved him, and closed his eyes forever, when I was 18. He had just breathed his last. He was old when I was young.

    As for my adopted father, he never bothered. So, I never got to shoot, or fish, or play ball, or ask questions, or get advice, or any of the stuff in your stories about your Dad. When I read about him, it reminds me of the father I want to be to my own sons. I envy guys like you; there’s so much you were given. Hang on to that pain you feel; that’s just love’s echo.

    As for my birth parents, he supported her through her pregnancy- took responsibility, in other words. I seem to look just like him. There’s comfort, in that.

  21. De Oppresso Liber says:

    Ken, be thankful for the memories. You’ll always cherish them and they will never fade. My brother and I lost our Father before I was 3 and we were orphaned before I was 13. Life is never fair, just try to make the best of it.

    Toast !

  22. Exile1981 says:

    June this year I lost my stepmom. She was teally sick the last couple years but she made my dad happy for 25 years, she was imore involved in my life than the person who actually gave birth to me and she was great with my kids. We all miss her and the kids still mourn her.

  23. Gregbee says:

    Sorry Kenny for your loss of dad. Lost mine in 2000, sudden heart attack at 58 years old, no clue it was coming. Lost my mom this February at 74 years old from cancer she was hiding from us. The pain doesn’t go away, but thank God it does dull. A toast to Kirk!

  24. Bacon says:

    Sorry for your loss, Ken.
    Cheers, Kirk.

  25. David says:

    Kenny, There is an old saying that a Boy does not become a Man until his Father is buried. Sadly I found that this to be Red Hot Gospel.

    BUT take comfort that from what I have read of your blog. That your “Old Man” made himself a hell of a Good Man with you. So lift one for me will you for both of our Dads as I don’t drink any more myself.


  26. Ricky Edney says:

    Found your site around that time, my dad died 8-19-12 at 91 just have to carry on. The last thing my Mom told me before she died in 2004, the day before my birthday, you have to be strong.

  27. bikermailman says:

    Kirk, many thanks for your service, and raising a good man. For both, you’ll be missed.

  28. John Deaux says:

    My condolences to you, being the ” man ” totally sucks sometimes.
    I hadn’t planned on drinking today but I’ll hoist one for you and your dad’s memory.

  29. John h. says:

    Cheers Kirk! You raised a fine man!
    John h.

  30. Harold foster says:

    My condolences. It is a sucky club that I was not a member of until this year. Then my mother died April 25th, and then My dad died May 21st. This year sucks big time. I can feel some of what you are feeling. But I’m still pretty numb. Hang in there. I may have a beer out in the barn fridge I’ll raise for you pops later this evening.

  31. =TW= says:

    I feel ya’ Kenny.
    Lost my Old Man in 2003. He had been failing for several years and need daily assistance.
    The USMC funeral services at Arlington restored much of the dignity missing from his later years.

    RIP, Dad.

    Carry on, Kenny. You will find he is still with you, preserved in your memory

  32. grayjohn says:

    You’re blessed because you were with him when he passed. I was out of town when my dad died.
    No one realized how ill he was and he went downhill in 10 hours or so. God be with you man. I lost him in “86 and it still hurts. All the best to you and yours.

  33. leonard says:

    I’ll raise a glass tonight for your dad. RIP

  34. Judy says:

    Hugs and a prayer, that the pain will ease up in the coming years.

  35. Timbo says:

    Fuck man.
    Deeply touching post.

    The old lady went through a pile of stuff out in the garage this week. Handed me a pic of my mom and me. 12 years since i lost them both, and i dont sit around looking at old pics. When i looked at this – it looked and felt like they had never existed.
    Its sitting on my nightstand, in hopes that seeing it for a bit might rekindle memories and feelings.

    Hard to believe its been 5 years for you – feels like maybe 2.

  36. carol fun says:

    Both my parents died when I was in my 20’s …miss that they never got to see their grandsons. My Grandma who I was very close to died in my 30’s… not a day goes by that I don’t think of her. We were so close. I was her first grandchild and she adored me…the feeling was mutual. There is comfort in your memories and time does help.

    PS Check your paypal… enjoy!

    • Wirecutter says:

      Thank you.
      One thing I am grateful for – my dad stuck around long enough for me to mature enough to where I could see his wisdom.

      • =TW= says:

        Well said.
        Old-timers didn’t get there without learning some things along the way. We can learn from them if only we will listen.
        I’m thankful for the wisdom imparted by my Old Man. I doubt I was appreciative enough as a pup, but I tried to make amends when I spoke at his funeral. We grew up in different worlds but I like to think he brought me up right.
        I find the older I get, the smarter he was.

      • pdwalker says:

        From the events you described, that’s no small miracle in itself.

  37. Jeffery in Alabama says:

    Prost Kirk!

  38. warhorse says:

    it was 2009 for my dad…and it’s still like he’s here sometimes..


  39. Sigproshooter says:

    Just in from cutting wood today and ran across this. Sorrow sucks but memories last our lifetime. Lost mine over 20 years ago, just shy of 52. I’ll have one for you and your pops WC. Keep your powder dry bro.

  40. Gene says:

    Lost my dad while I was only 20 years old, 44 years ago. I know your pain, but cherish having him as long as you did. I raise my vodka/oj to you, and him. God bless y’all.

  41. Tennessee Budd says:

    July 13 was 4 years Dad’s been gone. As with you, I don’t think of him as much as 4 years ago, but he’s always kinda around. Hell, I have his name, with “Junior” on the end. Can’t help but think of him.
    I’m raising a glass to Kirk right now. Hell, maybe those two have run across each other, wherever they are, and are doing the same, & are swapping stories about the Old Army, the Real Army (my Dad was 101st, & was in from ’62-’64; OTHs, BCDs, & Dishonorables were a family tradition until I screwed that up).

  42. anonymous says:

    My condolences sir, Life returns but it isn’t the same. Really gives you perspective.

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