I both hate that you had to write this and am so glad you did. You capture the complexity of love and grief so well. Thank you for sharing Jup with us.

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Mar 23Liked by Shawn Smucker

Shawn, you know I love your writing. And this is some of your absolute best. Thanks for giving the rest of us just a bit of Jup. And for once again giving voice to our own hearts. Peace to you, my friend.

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Mar 23Liked by Shawn Smucker

I was waiting for you to write something about him and of course it brought me to tears. I had an internship at Auntie Anne's for a few summers and winter breaks during college. I always ate lunch with Jup and my dad. They ate at the exact same time everyday. I enjoyed our conversations. He was always such a nice guy and fun to talk to. I wonder if they're enjoying lunch together today, like old times? I'm so sorry for your loss. I've been thinking about you guys and the Smucker family. You all are like family.

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I lost a dear friend this week too, and your words were just what I needed. Thank you.

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Mar 23Liked by Shawn Smucker

Thank you for sharing so concurrently with the grief in the present tense--the right now grief.

The beauty of Jup’s welcome to you as a kid pronounces the pain of his loss so--importantly? Profoundly? I grieve for you and with you in my own griefs. Your story is inviting that, and it’s so important. Thank you.

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Mar 23·edited Mar 23Liked by Shawn Smucker

Oh Shawn! I have all the feels…. Jup’s passing is hitting me over and over again like a ton of bricks. Kevin and I were just with him and Cindy on Saturday night at a birthday party for my nephew, Kaylie’s boyfriend and Elijah’s dad. I gave him the biggest hug and watched him beam with pride all evening as he was with Cindy, the love of his life, Emily, Nick, Kay, the Wise family. Quiet and wise, looking like he had a trick or prank up his sleeve, taking it all in. He was steady. Quiet but strong. He defined unconditional love and family loyalty. I can’t believe he’s gone. Just like that. My heart is broken and shattered for his family. Thank you for sharing your gift of words.

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Mar 23Liked by Shawn Smucker

Wow, beautifully written. Jup would be proud! Thank you for sharing

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This is so beautifully written; I am so sorry for your loss.

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Mar 23Liked by Shawn Smucker

Thank you, Shawn. Perfect.

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Mar 23Liked by Shawn Smucker

Shawn this is beautiful! So sad . Jup was the kindness friend

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Beautiful tribute. So sorry to hear this, Shawn.

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"Thirty minutes after I found out my cousin Justin (aka Jup, aka Juppie) had died suddenly and unexpectedly, I took our youngest son Leo to soccer practice, because in some inexplicable way, life goes on even after someone you love dies." -- this reminded me of the final lines in Robert Frost's "Out, Out --"

-- And they, since they

Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs.

Here's the whole poem:

The buzz saw snarled and rattled in the yard

And made dust and dropped stove-length sticks of wood,

Sweet-scented stuff when the breeze drew across it.

And from there those that lifted eyes could count

Five mountain ranges one behind the other

Under the sunset far into Vermont.

And the saw snarled and rattled, snarled and rattled,

As it ran light, or had to bear a load.

And nothing happened: day was all but done.

Call it a day, I wish they might have said

To please the boy by giving him the half hour

That a boy counts so much when saved from work.

His sister stood beside him in her apron

To tell them ‘Supper.’ At the word, the saw,

As if to prove saws knew what supper meant,

Leaped out at the boy’s hand, or seemed to leap—

He must have given the hand. However it was,

Neither refused the meeting. But the hand!

The boy’s first outcry was a rueful laugh,

As he swung toward them holding up the hand

Half in appeal, but half as if to keep

The life from spilling. Then the boy saw all—

Since he was old enough to know, big boy

Doing a man’s work, though a child at heart—

He saw all spoiled. ‘Don’t let him cut my hand off—

The doctor, when he comes. Don’t let him, sister!’

So. But the hand was gone already.

The doctor put him in the dark of ether.

He lay and puffed his lips out with his breath.

And then—the watcher at his pulse took fright.

No one believed. They listened at his heart.

Little—less—nothing!—and that ended it.

No more to build on there. And they, since they

Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs.

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So much of this resonated with me. Great piece.

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