Someone Great

Posted on March 12, 2024
Takes about 3 minutes to read

Where to start? The grief is heavy and far too real. I barely slept last night. The brain fog is thick but finding the words and placing them here may provide some catharsis.

I lost someone great. Oscar was so much bigger than most folks will ever understand. His love, not just for my partner and I, but for all walks of life was unconditional. His level of patience and kindness is aspirational. I've never met someone like him. I reflect fondly on the memories of him, some of my best years being filled with his presence every single day.

Oscar was an avid US traveler, bouncing back and forth between the coasts. He spent much of his life right outside NYC being a friend of the people. I often dubbed him the mayor of downtown Jersey City. Countless times when Oscar and I went out for a stroll together passersby would gush with joy, interacting with Oscar as if nobody else existed. He walked proud, eyes beaming, perpetually present in the moment.

It was also in Jersey City where my partner and I became great friends. It was where we fell in love. Oscar was integral to our story. We'd trek all over the city with him, hanging around the local coffee shop, strolling along the waterfront, sprawling out in the grass of Liberty State Park. Our conversations were natural, meaningful, and incredibly deep. Oscar was there with us, always attentive, reacting with his calming stare and gentle grin. At the beginning of our relationship, his approval meant everything. Oscar made me feel accepted.

When the pandemic lockdowns started, Oscar insisted we get outdoors for socially-distanced walks, leading us around an exceptionally quiet city. Being with him helped maintain our sanity during such a difficult experience. We spent a majority of our time quarantined in a small studio apartment, but Oscar was there urging us to keep our cool, letting us know it was going to be alright. His warm aura would fill the room. We felt it. In that challenging time, we felt at peace. We felt joy.

When travel began to return, lockdown restrictions being lifted, we made a decision to spend our days on the opposite coast. Once we got there, Oscar needed no time to adjust. He immediately embraced his golden years, escaping the harsh Northeast winters and heavy springtime rain for the endless sunny beaches of southern California. It brought my partner and I so much delight seeing his excitement. The new sites, sounds, the smells—everything was so fresh and welcome. We'd head down to the beach where Oscar would stretch across the sand and soak up the sun. He would smile back at us. Everything felt right.

At home, Oscar would watch intently as we cooked meals. When the doorbell rang, he'd jump up to greet guests with glee. I'd play the acoustic guitar and Oscar would settle nearby to listen, often drifting off to sleep. He never said it, but I'm pretty confident he enjoyed hearing me play. I tell myself that anyway.

Late at night, the three of us would snuggle up on the couch and watch television. Oscar was typically first to leave for bed. If it were getting too late, he'd sometimes peek his head back into the room. His stare seemed to say, "It's bedtime, you two, come along!" Then he'd stalk off as quickly as he appeared. In retrospect, he was probably right as we woke up groggy the next morning.

I'd like to continue but I've reached a breaking point emotionally. My eyes are starting to swell. There is so much wonder around Oscar, so many stories to share. He elevated the mood of anyone that met him. On a personal level, he made me feel important and loved in times I felt small or invisible. There was not and never will be anyone that matches his unique disposition. He was our emotional companion and a beautiful friend.

I love you, Oscar. You are forever missed.

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