Family Dead Pool… Party.

I’ve been scarce around these parts lately due to a West Coast trip and the loss of my Uncle, Walter Scafidi, who passed away after a really long and rollercoaster-esque ride with cancer. As the only close family in Atlanta, we spent a lot of time with my uncle, oftentimes watching ball games and playing Keno and other assorted silliness. He was also one of very few folks who had an active interest in my little music and comic book side projects. His only real bad trait was a love of the New York Mets, something which always led to fun times and he always had first dibs on my tickets when they were in town. He’d promised me he’d still be here when I arrived last Friday the last time I visited him at the hospice. An hour before my plane touched down on Friday, he was gone.

Since then it’s been a steady diet of family members and liquor and food and laughs and tears and the occasional reacharound. All things considered, it’s been a really affirming and warming time.

I tend to find family to be a little overvalued in the grand scheme of things, and in an Italian/New York family with people scattered all over the country now the politics and allegiances are just not worth keeping up with. I also really don’t find much merit in family reunions because vacation time and the headaches involved should be spent on something relaxing and as stress-free as possible. A trip to the ocean with the people you enjoying hugging and fucking, perhaps?

As a goof I made a comment this past weekend that may not be as dumb as it was meant to sound.

Instead of taking bereavement leave when someone dies or when they’re terminally ill, the whole gang picks a name from a hat to become that year’s “victim”. As many of them that can make the time convenes to a neutral (very important) location to enjoy each other without the rushed planning and grief associated with the loss of a loved one. The person whose name was picked gets a free pass, with the others paying their way as the guest of honor. The following year their name is taken from the pool of names in order to prevent tampering.

When someone actually dies, the local folks can have a ceremony but instead of everyone killing themselves to make the trip they donate money to the charity of the deceased’s choosing and/or helps with the arrangements.

It doesn’t cheapen the death and it doesn’t detract from the love of the decedent. It just allows people to dwell on the positive and not be hurt any more by the passing than the passing itself. The stress of making it to a funeral, getting the time/babysitters/dogsitters/etc. can really worsen an already unfortunate situation.

So instead, have a little [slightly morbid] fun and enjoy the living. There’s more urgency than a family reunion and less than a real death. Everyone wins!

I know it’s a lot more complicated than that but it’s wishful thinking and after this past weekend a little wishful thinking doesn’t hurt.

As for Uncle Walter, I’m not going to say he’s in a better place because it conflicts with my own personal beliefs. I will say that the people who knew and loved him are in a better place because of him and to me that’s even more of a compliment.

I go, here’s the latest thing I’m adding to the blog. Each day I’ll
have a song, a piece of artwork, a photo, a Mary Worth, or something to
further justify your click and to give the trolls a little more ammo.
Today, another concept poster for a project I’m trying to put together

Artwork by John Rauch

- Nick Nunziata has a good idea who the next to go is going to be and isn’t looking forward to it at all.