Last week I saw a picture of Dale and I, at our company barbeque. I was filled with such loss and sorrow. I quickly looked away, and had to compose myself. I did not want to tear up around my co-workers. I saw a huge smile on his face, and remembered how happy our short time together was.

There was not a day that went by he was not coming in and out of my office. He had a routine where he would go to specific places throughout the nursing home. He would stop and visit many of the staff, and everyone who was touched by this great man, were filled with such joy when he was around. He had the most wonderful  laugh and smile, which always brightened my day. I can truly say he was the brightest point in my day. Even after five and a half months later, I still wish he would come to my office to sit and listen to music with me.

Dale was the most enlightened man I have ever met. He achieved what many Taoist strive for, living and thinking like a child. It is children who are so peaceful and simple in their outlook on life. They have not yet been filled with the propaganda of the American Dream, and corporate brainwashing. They hold no judgment, and find joy in the simple things. Dale had reached these achievements. He lived for the simple joys in life, like his 10:30 soda, and 1:30 commissary trip. These things along with his simple routines made him happy.

When he came into my office he would sit down and listen to music. He was amused with my computer and often asked me to show him pictures of various things like cars he used to own. He was funny to talk to, because he was so random in his thought process. He had a mental illness which caused him to be so random, and OCD about his daily activities. I miss our conversations.

Like all my sad emotions I choose to not deal with them. This was particularly hard because I just thought he would be around forever. His death was so quick, he was diagnosed with cancer and it spread so fast. He just kept on deteriorating. When he could no longer walk on his own he spent much of his time in bed. I can’t even imagine how hard that was for him.

He had one wish; to not die alone. I would bet he was afraid of the unknown, and wanted someone to be by his side. I feel guilty and wish I was here to fulfil his wish. His passing is my reason for starting The Bucket List Foundation. The foundation will do many good things for our elderly, but one of our main goals is to ensure no one dies alone. Perhaps I feel if I can provide others with this important human needs, I can shed this intense guilt I feel over letting my best friend down. I call him my best friend because I have never met a friend which cared for me so unconditionally.

I think another reason I do not deal with my sad feelings over this is because I want the wonderful memory of knowing him to never leave my mind. I am not only afraid of having to deal with the sadness over his death, but I am also afraid to have his memory fade.

  1. Tim,
    We each die alone. It doesn’t matter if we’re surrounded by hundreds of people OR it happens when no other person is near. The step into the unknown void is one we each make individually.

    From another perspective, it’s impossible to die alone. If all existence comes from the One, then everything around us is part of the One too. Since we can’t live/die in a vacuum, we are never alone.

    You need to accept your grief for what it is. If you need to cry, then cry. If you need to scream, then scream. If you need to feel down, then feel down. Poking your emotions down into a deep dark hole, will alone allow the grief to eat you up inside.

    Once the pain is dealt with, the beautiful memories will remain, untouched by the grief. Dale has realized immortality through those who carry his memory in their hearts.

  2. Karen King says:

    Memories never fade as long as you always think of the person and the good times. If you stop thinking of them, then they fade. It’s ok to feel sadness as long as you go back to the good times. I did that today remembering mom….8 years ago she died.

  3. johanna says:

    What a nice story about your friend. It is nice to read about something as lovely as a special friendship. I’m sorry about your sadness. I think the idea of a bucket list foundation is a great way to memorialize your friend and care for those in need. I sure hope you persevere with your ideas.

  4. hames1977 says:


    the story about dale is a heartfelt memory of a friend. but you are right when you say that you want to remember him in the bright times of your lives together. this is right. we need to move on from dwelling the past. we need to face the “now” and hopeful tomorrows.

    be strong and not afraid.

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      I do not deal well with sadness. I am afraid to open my heart and mind to such feelings. The short time I knew him, wassome of the happiest memory’s I have. True friends are hard to come by. I just don’t want to feel through these feelings.

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