Article 2 – Personal Narrative (Draft)

It was a Monday morning, probably the worst I’ve ever had.

I was still waking up I received the phone call. My screen showed my pastor’s Facebook profile picture with his name underneath it. Why’s he calling me right now? Normally, Pastor Terry called me when he wanted to know if I could help out with the worship band that week or not. I had the month of August off, though, so there wouldn’t be any reason for him to call me unless it was important. Did I do something wrong at church yesterday morning?

“Hello?” I sheepishly answered the phone. I knew something was wrong.

“Hey! Ben…” Terry’s voice warmly greeted me over the phone, as if to comfort me about something. “I’ve got bad news.” I couldn’t catch much of what he said. He mentioned something about being in a bad spot for making calls, so his voice cut in and out of the call. The only two words I could catch were “Patrick” and “dead”. Before I could ask any questions, the call dropped.

I didn’t know what to think. I tried telling myself that it was a miscommunication. Patrick didn’t die. He was still spry, even at the age of 63. His wife, Julie, just suffered a bad fall and needed to be taken care of by him; we just saw them at the hospital the day before. My grandmother already died earlier this summer, there’s no way that another loved one has died. I kept telling myself these things to keep my spirits up. I had work in an hour and it would’t be good for me to be there while I’m depressed.

I received another call back. It was Terry again. The call was clear this time, no dead zone. My worst fears had been confirmed. He went on to explain how he didn’t show up for work (which was very unlike him), and Julie tried to get in touch with him. When the authorities had arrived, they found him dead at the bottom of the stairs in his basement.

This was unreal. I hadn’t felt this bad before. The closest thing to that was when my dad texted me about Grandma Mac, but we knew it was going to happen, we knew that it would stop her suffering. This was different. This was too sudden, too problematic. Patrick took care of so many things around church and even Morningside. What’s going to happen to everything that he’s been holding together?

I hadn’t realized how long I had been silent, “Are you still there, Ben?”

“Yeah, I’m still here…” I gathered the strength to reply. “I just don’t know what to think about this…”

Terry suggested that I tell all of the other people that went to Patrick’s young adults’ Bible study, namely, my two best friends: Hunter and Hanna. He said that they’d probably rather hear the news from me, rather than him.

I decided that I should call Hunter first. He had always said that he could relate to Patrick in certain ways. He felt a certain father-son bond with him that he hadn’t had with anyone else. I remember him being angry at his mother for not telling him about his Grandfather’s passing the summer before. When I told him the bad news, he didn’t believe me at first, thinking that I was kidding, for some reason.

“I wouldn’t joke about something like this,” I snapped. I had been known to make pranks and jokes that made people mad, but this was too far even for me.

“Oh…” He paused. He didn’t know how to feel about this either. I told him that I still had to call Hanna about it too, so we said our goodbyes after that.

I glad that I called Hunter first. Hanna was not an easy call. When the news sank in for her, she began to cry uncontrollably. My heart dropped farther than I thought even possible.

When she was able to muster up some intelligible words, Hanna suggested that we meet up together to console each other, the three of us. I told her I had work, but that I was off by around 3:oo PM, so she said just to come over to her house afterward. I splashed some cold water on my face, E-mailed my boss to let him know that I’ll be coming in for today, but not the rest of the week, and then made my way to Sioux City.

Thankfully, when I had gotten to Hanna’s house, she wasn’t crying anymore. She told me that she just had to get it all out. We waited for Hunter to show up, as usual, before we figured out what we were going to do. Her family had already planned to go boating at McCook Lake that day, so she invited us to come with her.

“I feel like Patrick wouldn’t want us to be sad about him,” She sighed. “He’d want us to be happy about the life he lived.”

Neither Hunter or I could disagree with that. We knew that to Patrick, death was just another part of life. He knew that where he was going and he wouldn’t want us to waste his time mourning over him. “A dead body is a dead body; they’re soul has moved on, so should you,” he used to say whenever the topic of death had come up. As much as we missed him, we knew he wouldn’t want to look down on us from Heaven and see us being sad about his death.

The boating helped. It was still in the back of our minds, but we did our best to not beat ourselves up over it. Hanna’s family was very comforting and knew how much Patrick meant to us. We knew that he was going to be missed, but we also knew he was a good man. Even people with differing religious views believed that Patrick would go to Heaven. This wasn’t because he practiced other religious rituals; this was because he was such a wise, caring, and helpful man that it would be wrong for him to go anywhere else.


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