Category Archives: death

What Can You Say?

This post is intended to spark an emotion in the reader…a deep compassion that most of us would sooner bury than to even know it exists in us.  For some, this will hit harder than they could realize.  For others, it will be very unexpected but I ask you, what can you say…to a mother, a father who has lost their baby?  Especially, if you personally have not experienced such a tragedy.  I’m sorry for your loss?  I feel your loss?  I feel your pain?  No, these will never truly comfort.

Baby Kasen

Baby Kasen


What if I told you there’s nothing you can say that will comfort someone who has lost their baby?  What to do…what to do?

As a Christian, I believe and fully understand that all the babes belong to Christ Jesus — they belong to God.  I understand that there may be some concious-level insight that a baby passing at the age of just a couple of months, or even sooner, will never have to deal with the pains and vulgarities of this world — perhaps I would find a little comfort in that knowledge if I had lost my child.  But it doesn’t make the grieving any better, does it?

As an outsider, of course, I will find myself in very few situations where I may experience speaking to someone who has just lost a baby but it happens to people all over the world, every day of life.

I never met and don’t know Angie nor did I ever see, hold or bounce on my knee her baby boy, Kasen.  So, really, what could I say that would make it better?

Kasen was just shy of a few months.  It is my understanding that he soon would’ve had surgeries to correct his parted upper lip.  There was every indication that he would’ve led a wonderful life with his big brother, Hunter.  Alas, it is not to be.

What can an olderly guy like me do?  I can pray for their family.  I can pray that God fills their hearts and minds with some assemblance of comfort in knowing that Kasen is in the Best Arms in the universe.  I can pray that their lives are not overcome by debilitating grief and despair because of their loss.  I can pray that their loved ones, their family and friends do not fade away from them in their time of grief because they do not know what to say.  How many times do we shrink away from being there for someone because we are so overcome by what has happened to them that we can’t function properly when we are in their company?  Friends, these are the times we must be strong.

I would suggest that we do not have to interject ourselves into their grief time but that we just let them know we are available when and if they need us.  Perhaps a note expressing our love and letting them know that we’re here when they’re ready.  Thing is, we need to ensure we are here for them, when they’re ready.  I think the best thing we can do, is be the best friend we can during everyday life so that when a tragedy, such as the loss of a loved one happens, our family and friends know we love them and will help in anyway we can.

Personally, I’m almost 3,000 miles away but Angie is a friend of my daughter, someone who did hold him and squeeze him and love him.  There’s not much I can personally do to comfort someone I do not know, about a specific loss I have not experienced.  I have prayed for their family and I did donate to their gofundme burial fund.

I know, it’s not much but what can I say?


  • 1 John 3:23 (NLT)

    And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us.

Child loss grief support (not all inclusive):


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What Crawled Up Your..?

Today was a pretty good day.  It started with no breakfast (yes, that means no coffee or grapefruit juice) and a trip to the dentist because I broke a tooth on Friday.  It took me about a half-hour to drive a 15-minute trip; then I waited at reception for almost another 15 minutes while the patient ahead of me just couldn’t figure out her schedule when making a followup appointment.

Then, I met Renee.  Her first day on the job as the Dentist’s assistant.  She is so nice that I almost wanted to pinch her just to see if she was real.  Dr Sharon was her great self and prepared my tooth for an upcoming crown in a couple of weeks.  The greatest hygienist, Lauren heard I was in and stopped by to say hello and remind me that I’d be seeing her in May.  A new person at the front desk on my way out gave me the bad news about the cost but assured me that it could be taken care of later when the crown is applied.  Whew!

Numb faced, I took the long way to the office knowing I would pass right by the donut shop…but I didn’t, I stopped and went inside.

I waited in line behind several people.  When it was my turn, I said, “Hey, how ’bout a donut for this old man?”  She responded a bit curtly as to did I want something or not.  Hmmmm… Two other young ladies told me not to mind her and asked me what kind of donut I wanted.  Then they collaborated to find an old fashioned with chocolate icing.  When time to pay, the original person told me the price and when I handed her a $20 bill for $2.01 charge she said, and I kid you not, “So what?  No penny, really?”  I was a little surprised but said that I was sorry but I had left the house with no change in my pocket but after she gave me change then I would have some for the next place I went and thanked her.  Meanwhile, the other two jumped in asking her, “what crawled up your…” and then they started speaking in Spanish. I just said thank you and departed.

“What crawled up your…” went around in my mind as I continued my drive to the office.  After having witnessed that young lady treat the several people in front of me politely, what happened when I got to the counter and attempted a light-hearted order?  I surmised that five customers in a row must have been her limit.

Then I wondered, do I do that?  Do I treat that one customer too many rudely?  The only way to know is to keep an eye on myself to ensure that I don’t in the future.

So, I get to work and a customer is at the counter engaged with my wonderful assistant, Brittany (who was so nice to come in today on her day off and cover for me while I was at the dentist).  Something about him wasn’t right with the questions he was asking and so I stepped in to inquire how I could help him with his request.  He quickly made his exit.  Brittany informed me that he was insisting on 24-hour access but he had no reason for being on the property outside of normal access hours.  It was good that he left.  Not every customer is right.  I was pleased with the way she handled him though he was acting odd and potentially could have been a problem later.  Brittany is nice and has a great customer service demeanor.

After my regular property inspection and a little time with the maintenance guy, I had to go to the hardware store (okay it was one of those big home stores) to obtain some much needed parts to repair some broken things on the property.  I really don’t like those places because I’ve actually spent too much time there lately for home projects.  Anyway, I was expecting, or I should say, not expecting the great customer service I received from a few different employees.  People who answered my questions, showed me how something worked, looked in the back for parts, and one person even took instructions from one box and made me a copy to take with me for something that I already had but need more information.  I was pleasantly surprised enough that I had to tell the store manager.

I got back to work and received a passdown from Brittany before she departed to return on Thursday to make my life easier again.  The remainder of the day was fairly busy with paying customers and numerous phone calls, including a few time hackers.  New customers who spent a great deal of time chatting as though we were old friends; some older customers chatting also as though we are old friends.  😉

At the end of the day, I looked back and thought that all-in-all was a really good day.  Out of a long, very busy day, I only witness two rude people.  What started as a potentially crappy day wasn’t so crappy after all.  I think it may have something to do with attitude.  An attitude of a lot of people who have just come out of a long winter and decided that they are just happy that it is over.  Or, maybe there are just some nice people out there that I’ve missed until now.  Or maybe, they’ve been there all the time but now my attitude is more open so that I can see them.

Of course there was the great chat with dad on the drive home.

Jay 🙂


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Goodbye Gentleman Giant

Many people know as much about the self storage business as what they see on television–battles for the contents of unpaid storage units.

Most people do not realize the connection a storage manager has with hundreds of lives of everyday people.  So many stories from so many people of all walks of life.  From time-to-time in my world I lose one of those people.  Quite often an elderly tenant passes and then I help the family process all the appropriate paperwork that goes with clearing out the items left in storage.

Occasionally, the tenant is not elderly, as in the case of a true gentleman named Gary Cobb.  Though Gary was only a few years younger than me, we were not buddies who went fishing or motorcycle riding together but we had several times where we would get together on the lot and shoot the breeze for a while.  A former military man and a sergeant with the State Police, Gary enjoyed riding his motorcycles which he stored here at the facility I manage.

Although Gary passed last week from a battle with cancer, I take today, the day of his funeral, to say, “Fair winds and following seas for all eternity.”

My life was touched by a nice man and I will miss his presence.  May the Lord welcome him into His arms.


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Posted by on October 31, 2014 in death, Uncategorized


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