DW: Who was the person that died?
PS: An old friend from San Francisco, Bryan John Tesar. Bryan lived in the same neighborhood that I did and he frequented the bar I worked at. He was a pretty good guy who loved music and conversing over a cold brew.
DW: How old were you at the time?
PS: Mid forties. Bryan is the first friend of mine to die.
DW: How old was he?
PS: I'm not sure, but I think he was in his early 60's. He was born in October, I just don't know the exact year.
DW: Was it a sudden death or did you know it was going to happen?
PS: After I left San Francisco in 2001, I sent him holiday cards, but we never really spoke or hung out again as I rarely made it back to California. I think the last time I saw him was in September of 2009. As many people do, we reconnected on Facebook a few years back, but he wasn't very active on the site. I had no idea he was ill. A mutual friend emailed me to let me know he had died.
DW: Were people supportive of your grief or did they shy away from you when you were grieving? PS: It's only been a day, but the people I've told have talked to me about it and offered condolences.
DW: Is there anything you wish you'd done differently with this person?
PS: I wish I had remained in contact with him. He was an interesting fellow and he played a rather important role in my life. Bryan died on February 24, but I found out on the 25th, which is a day I will always think about him. On February 25, 1998, I was at Charlie's (huge dive bar in Bernal Heights that is no longer there) where I was a bartender. I was sitting there with Bryan complaining that I had no one to bring to this event that was happening the next night. In typical Bryan fashion, he said I should simply ask the next person who entered the bar. And in walks Erik, who is now my husband. I served Erik a Full Sail Ale and proceeded to ask him to accompany me to this weird event the next night and the rest is history. It was all because of Bryan. I found it really odd that I found out about his death on this date.
DW: Was he buried or cremated?
PS: That has yet to be decided, but I'm guessing cremation.
DW: Did you learn anything about the grieving process that you'd like to share?
PS: One thing I found surprising is that I was able to recall a lot of memories that had been forgotten and they were surprisingly vivid. It made me very aware of the passage of time.
DW: Last but not least, were any songs played at the memorial that were important to the person?
PS: The memorial has yet to be planned, but I associate a lot of music with Bryan. We hung out at the bar I worked at in SF and it had a really good jukebox. We also used to sing while he tried to teach me to play the guitar. I don't sing with many people, but this was our go to song. Our version was fast and off key, but it was ours.