The loss of a friend
by: David Coulson , Colorado7/10/2012
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Fishing isn’t a matter of life or death, it’s far more important than that!” I have even quoted it a time or two, enjoying the smiles it brought to other’s faces. These last few weeks, especially last Saturday, has given those words a hollow ring, as I’ve come to realize they are far from true, at least for me.
It started with the loss of Sue’s mother several weeks ago, the last of our parents. She lived a long and fruitful life, so while her passing was painful, acceptance came quickly. Since her passing, short of my Canada trip and the FMO, fishing has been nonexistent for me as weekends have been consumed working with my wife clearing out the house of fifty plus year’s accumulation. Since her passing, every weekend we’ve dealt with the stark and vivid reminders of loved ones no longer with us.
Saturday, nearing the end of going through boxes stored decades ago, I received a phone call from one of my best friends and a favorite fishing partner, John. At least I thought it was him per the caller ID. Every year we plan a fishing trip, and I figured he was calling to check schedules and set a date and location. This would be a nice break from working on the estate.
“Hey John, what’s up,” I answered. To my surprise the voice was female, and I instantly recognized it as Janet's, his wife. My heart dropped, as there are generally only two reasons for a friend’s wife to call, to plan a surprise or she’s bearing bad news. From the tone of her voice I knew it was the latter and in my heart I hoped John was only hurt or seriously ill. Those hopes were dashed when she informed me that John had been in a swimming accident in Mexico where they had gone to celebrate his upcoming birthday. Unfortunately, despite efforts to revive him, John was no longer with us.
As we travel life’s road, we meet many people and count a good number of them as friends. Out of all the friends that come and go, for most of us, there are a very small number we count as close, dear friends. You know who I mean. The friends, who can be gone for years then walk through the door and it’s just as if they'd left yesterday. Friends, who accept us as we are, expect nothing of us, and yet, we’d give them anything if they asked. Friends who are closer than anyone else, except your spouse, and some days she/he wonders whose closer. Over my life, I’ve counted four such friends, and John was one of them.
While fishing was core to our friendship, the relationship was far more than that. It didn’t matter what we did, be it a car rally, cup of coffee, lunch, hike, dinner, camping, boating . . ., you name it. Time spent with John was always time well spent. And whether you recognize it, you likely know of John through my writings, as our adventures were often the basis for many of my stories.
I share this loss for a number of reasons. Writing helps me organize my thoughts. So, while I hurt from losing a friend, I feel I’m a better person for having known John and will always have the memories of the times we shared to treasure. My writing is a way to honor a fellow angler. While John will never be thought of as a “fishing great”, he was always my top choice for a fishing partner. Finally, as I head to Grand Junction to celebrate his life with others who feel his passing as deeply as I, it is my sincerest wish that you have friends who are as dear to you as John was to me. May they always be with you!
Blog content © David Coulson
jshanko, CO 7/10/2012 4:09:15 PM
My condolences Dave. Hope you fill this gap with another pal. God bless.
LadyinPink, CO 7/10/2012 4:11:36 PM
John was a wonderful friend to you and to our family. He was full of life and so fun to be around. My last memory of time spent with John was fishing. He will be greatly missed.
FISHRANGLER, CO 7/10/2012 4:17:11 PM
Sorry for your loss Dave. Hope things get better for you.
ObsessedFisherman, CO 7/10/2012 4:30:28 PM
Sorry for your loss Dave. Your remmbrence is a true act of friendship said very well and he will always be your friend
oley, CO 7/10/2012 4:34:45 PM
Nothing we can say eases your loss but may it bring peace to all who knew him. Gone too early...
JKaboom, CO 7/10/2012 6:24:24 PM
Dave, I offer my sincerest condolences.
JKaboom, CO 7/10/2012 6:25:46 PM
Dave, I offer my sincerest condolences.
hemichief, CO 7/10/2012 7:26:35 PM
I am so sorry for your loss. Few of us have a John in our lives. Your are richer for him as he was for you. You did a phenomenal job of describing your friendship with John.
You will always have that and I know you will treasure it.
My deepest condolences to you and his family.
IceFishingFool, CO 7/10/2012 8:32:27 PM
How well I know how it feels to lose a friend, such as you just did Dave, It shakes our inner core, we will continue to think of our special friends, and find peace when recalling each and every one of them.
Coyute, CO 7/11/2012 8:58:36 AM
My condolences Dave.
Finally Fishing, CO 7/11/2012 11:48:06 AM
Dave - So sorry, please hug his wife lots. She needs them as much as you do. With the loss of Jan's dad earlier this year, we now think of him when we are fishing knowing that he would love to be there in person, but I believe that he is still there with us enjoying the fishing. Jennifer
bluecollarguy, CO 7/11/2012 2:32:27 PM
Condolences and a well said goodbye, i can only hope i'm remembered as well by those people i cherish when my time on earth is up!
chris, CO 7/11/2012 7:04:16 PM
My condolences to you Dave.
Lloyd Tackitt, TX 7/11/2012 7:15:36 PM
Dave, I'm extremely sorry to hear of your two losses. I can only imagine your pain and wish I was there to help in some small way.
ŠTÎMź, CO 7/11/2012 8:11:27 PM
So sorry to hear. My prayers are with you and your family and johns family as well. I lost a fishing buddy a month ago. Keep your head up and know his spirit lives on.
Browns Hunter, CO 7/11/2012 9:23:17 PM
My condolences, Dave.
May your memories of him comfort you in your loss.
coyotehunter, CO 8/8/2012 11:43:48 PM
So sad to hear of the loss of such a nice person. Met him while fishing this summer and won't forget his passion for fishing and his bigger passion of being such a geniune caring person. The next fish I catch will be for him and released as I say this is from your friend John to the fish as it swims away.