There is “afterword”—as in what authors write at the back of their books—and there is “afterward(s)”—as in the unmeasured period of time following an event. As Jay’s recent widow, living on after his life was over, I am finding myself feeling rather numb in this place called “afterwards.”
The first few days weren’t like that; the gambit of emotion is nothing but feelings. In the presence of our four adult children, I shed tears one minute and giggled in delight the next, as we shared collective memories and highlights of our lives together as “the nuclear six” (so dubbed by one of our sons to refer to his family of origin). Being in the presence of nearest and dearest kin at a time like this defies numbness. Now that same son is referring to us as the “fabulous five,” a term that doesn’t feel very fabulous, at least, not yet. Once in a while, even he slips up and says “nuclear six,” only to correct himself. There’s a lot to get used to afterwards.
One heartening reality in this period of time is the outpouring of tributes from Jay’s friends and fans.These two wonderful pictures of Jay in action—teaching classes to stage riggers—were uploaded to Facebook’s “Friends and Fans of Jay Glerum” group, and I unabashedly copied them here. I can hear his voice when I see these pictures. Thank you, Ethan Gilson and Jim Utterback (two men I’ve never met), for sharing these dynamic images of Jay—afterwards.
In that spirit, I offer this link to his SeattleTimes obituary, in the belief that if you appreciated his presence in your life you'll want to read this little blurb about him now—afterwards.
Having gotten bogged down by a variety of things, I haven't kept up with you after one brief exchange -- I had so enjoyed meeting you & Jay in Florida in March & kept meaning to get in touch. This morning I found your blog again & was so saddened to hear your news. Please know that you have our thoughts & prayers -- we knew you both for such a little time, but it was one of the joys of that trip. I'll write again after a bit -- have a poetry workshop today -- but did want to send you a heartfelt word. Love to you, Maryann Downing
I'm glad I tried one more time to find an address for you and found your blog. The card I tried to send to you is every from so many trips. I was so sorry to read of Jay's death. I have fond memories of the times we spent together all those years ago. I hope that the event at ACT was good for you.
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