remembering zach


at 7:40 am, december 4th 2017 i learned that my good friend Zach was shot and killed the night before while being robbed at gunpoint. the murderer demanded Zach and his friend's money. the murderer received Zach's phone & wallet. Zach was still killed while his phone and wallet were found in the grass right down the street. 

Zach was one of the brightest, kindest guys you could know. he introduced me to countless songs and musicians, and answered any question i had on anything political, anytime. no hesitation. the intellect was huge, but the kindness was even bigger. the last time i saw zach was december 1st, friday night at his family's business, giggles n jiggles family fun center. my son & i had just gotten done playing in the bounce houses with uncle Zach, and we headed outside. Zach unknowingly followed us outside, taking the trash out right next to where I parked. 

"hey, i forgot about that coffee i made earlier for us. Want some?" he asked me as I was getting in my drivers seat. i looked back at phoenix, who was already strapped into his car seat.

"nah man, he's already in. Tha-"

"Oh, I'll grab it for you. it'll go to waste anyways, one sec," he said. Before I could protest he jetted inside, and grabbed a cup of coffee and brought it out to me. 

"Thanks dude, see ya later."

"yupp, no problem," he said, and bounced off. that was that.

an empty styrofoam cup with stains of coffee sits in my car, still here while he is not. 

I've had the privilege of not facing my grief just yet. i have to be there for everyone else. i actually think that right now, 9:15 A.M. on Dec 14, is the first time I've been alone since hearing the news.

i met Zach when i first started seeing her, as Chels & Zach grew up together, knowing each other since 11 years old. we gave interviews to local news stations about the kind of person he was, and it killed me to see my beautiful partner's crying face being plastered as a thumbnail with the headline "Friends and family devastated, confused after 24-year-old killed in KC after being robbed." I lost a friend, but she has lost a brother, and with that, my son an uncle.

it is phoenix's first experience with a death of someone close to us. we tried to lighten how we explained what happened to him, but he's much too curious. We told him uncle zach was killed. he asked how, and why, and by who, and what the person had in their hand when they killed uncle zach. i didn't want to tell him that his uncle was shot with a gun, but there comes a point to where you just can't lie. i can only hope we didn't make a mistake in our handling of it for him.

Zach's parents, Cora & Joe, run a business and have had to work while they grieve. his father was giving news interviews behind the counter. i wish i had gotten to know them under better circumstances, but that seems to be what we all say when all the differences in opinion and perceptions become so, so small. my heart feels so much grief for them and all those who have truly felt the pain of the loss this week. know i love you all and am here if you need me. 

we love you Zach.

'They say, heaven's a place
Yeah, heaven's a place and they know where it is
But you know where it is?
It's behind the gate, they won't let you in
And when they hear the beat, coming from the street, they lock the door
But if there's no music up in heaven, then what's it for?'
-here comes the night time; arcade fire