Creative Commons License
Super Friends by Whitney Holwadel Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at Super Friends: April 2019

Thursday, April 4, 2019


It was 10 years ago today that Whit left us.

We've all experienced grief, or will, and it's different for us all. None of us does it perfectly; what an implausible concept that is. One of my own imperfections is that I experience something that would ordinarily be felt - by me, at least - as a 100% gratifying, exhilarating thing of beauty and admiration. And then the appreciation is immediately compromised, diminished by the thought that Whit will never be able to share in it, knowing how much he would have appreciated it as well. It happens all the time, though I'm getting modestly better at experiencing my definition of beauty in nature,  music or whatever, without letting what's not overwhelm what is.

Below is a link to nothing more than a contemporary bluegrass song by a band that's stretching and enhancing the definition. If you don't like bluegrass as much as I do, that's absolutely fine, totally not the point. I just appreciate the newness, the freshness, the absolute pinnacle of musicianship that's represented here, I could watch the video 50 times, and I wish Whit could see it too. I KNOW he would love it. It just hurts knowing everything he will never have gotten to experience. And I know I'm not the only one. I can't have thoughts like this, especially in the month of his death, without the feeling of sorrow over Esme Kenney, whose death at 13 preceded Whit's by just a few weeks. I remember attending her memorial service and not comprehending how Lisa and Tom were even able to stand, much less interact with people. A few weeks later it was my turn, and I had to do it myself, even if I didn't understand how. Still don't. Guess it's a bit like Mark Twain wrote on the one year anniversary of receiving - from across the ocean - the news of his daughter Susy's death at 24, the same age as Whit: "It is one of the great mysteries of our nature, that a man, all unprepared, can receive a thunder-stroke like that and live. There is but one reasonable explanation of it. The intellect is stunned by the shock and but gropingly gathers the meaning of the words. The power to realize their full import is mercifully lacking." That last part comes later, and lasts.
Anyway, here's the video, for what it's worth. Perfect, it's even a prison song!

Jeff Smith, Whit's Dad