The After (Part 2)
I am at church this morning.
I’ve called out for my people I need on the prayer list.
And so we carried on.
Pete had noted once that we changed after Keith had passed.
I suppose we grew up a bit. Death is sobering.
We started to discuss matters which were more severe to the world and our souls. We actually read the Bible together.
At one time, we tried to record a podcast during the plague, but work and life got in the way of recording. It’s still out there somewhere—the Greybeards Podcast. (I say tried; we did record a podcast.)
This went on for year’s like I said before. Some days it was half an hour’s worth of chat, sometimes memes back and forth, across several platforms, but always that connection.
We shared failures and successes alike. Gave each other a hard time. Made each other laugh and sometimes cry.
Before Covid became a thing, Yoko let us know that he was fighting a rare cancer. He would be getting treatment that would include blood transfusions, chemo, full body radiation.
The treatment did a number on my friend. He still kept his head up. He still was full of life. He still picked up his guitars and pursued his great love of music.
And of course we encouraged him in his getting better. Who wouldn’t? We were there for him spiritually in support. We spoke often and chatted every day about his particular problem.
Last weekend he let us know that he was going to the hospital because he was having trouble with his 02 stats. Trouble breathing. Pete and I discussed this while he had gone dark because he was in the hospital and contact was sort of limited. We wanted to see if his diet or other things could help and maybe we’d encourage him to more closely follow doctors’ orders.
We weren’t expecting the inevitable. It comes for us all in the end.
Brent Kaping (Yoko F. Thunders) was a Marine.
He was a husband.
He was a father.
He was a musician.
He was funny, loved his family and friends, loved his country, loved music.
He was my friend. He became, over the course of several years, my brother. He touched a lot of people. (And yes, if you knew Brent, he’d laugh at me saying he touched a lot of people.)
Over the last year, with him being too sick to communicate here and there and having days, where he’d be out of touch, the holes in my days have been huge. And now there’s one that won’t end.
Last Wednesday, February 9, 2022, at 1730, Pete brought me the unfortunate news that my friend had gone home. The toll that everything had taken on his body over the past couple of years became too much to continue.
I’ll miss him.
He was one of the few men outside of blood relations that I could say the word love to and not be embarrassed in any way. Because it is true, I loved my brother.
I’m not the one to write my friend’s eulogy. This isn’t his eulogy. This is me making peace with him being gone.
To his wife and son, I am so sorry for the loss of Brent. I know that he loved both of you deeply. He loved you not just in word but in deed. I’ve rarely seen anyone do that in life like he did. That doesn’t end. Ever.
And this is what needs to get out of my head for the last several days. It has eaten at my heart. And maybe it was fitting that it did so. I needed to mourn a bit in silence. I still will. This is my part in The After.
Miss ya, Brent. Always will.
That’s it. That’s the post.