I've decided that grief is like having a vital organ that spontaneously disappears. Every once in a while it blinks out and the pain hits me. There are things that I know are likely to cause that organ to disappear, but there's no real way to predict it. I just have to ride it out until the pain fades again for a while.
This is from the memorial booklet they handed out at the service:
Roger Allen Burros was born October 20, 1954 in Alexandria, MN to Ernest and Hazel (Wik) Burros. He was baptized and confirmed in Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Evansville and graduated from Evansville High School in 1972. He attended Alexandria Technical School where he received a degree in draftsmanship. Roger was presently employed with General Electric in Minneapolis where he had worked for many years as a draftsman.
Roger enjoyed traveling to Jamaica and several other countries. He also enjoyed gardening, peaceful times at the lake, photography, deer hunting and family and friends. He was a member of Faith Lutheran Church in Evansville and the Tuesday night Dart League.
On Sunday, May 28, 2006 Roger passed away at his home in Minneapolis, MN at the age of 51 years.
That covers a surprising amount. Roger made something like 15 trips to Jamaica, and he had many friends there; in fact there was a memorial service for him there on the same day that we had his funeral in Evansville. He had a small house in Minneapolis which he had owned for as long as I'd known him. His backyard, in recent years, was landscaped with planting boxes and paths and lots of growing things. He liked to spend his evenings and weekends out there. That was where they found him, in fact, after he'd spent the day planting flowers.
Roger was a bachelor. About two years ago he reconnected with the woman he had gone to prom with back in Evansville. She had married someone else and moved to Colorado; but recently she got divorced, and she and Roger had been seeing each other. In some ways I feel worst for her, because she doesn't really have much family. At the funeral she must have felt a bit overwhelmed by all the Burroses.
Roger lived with a Golden Retriver named Jo(lene) until she died about fifteen years ago, and then he adopted a cat named Nick. When they came to get Roger's body they took Nick with them to animal control; my brother, who works at the Humane Society, went to collect him and brought him back to Roger's house once we had the keys. Nick is seventeen and he wouldn't get adopted if he was put up, so for now he's at home.
Because Roger never married and he lived close to us, he was always with us for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, birthdays. He took me to my first Twins game, or at least the first one I remember. (Actually, he took me to my first two, because the first one we went to ended up getting rained out.) In some ways he was more like an older brother than an uncle; there were only sixteen years between us.
Over the weekend we were up at the lake where Roger used to go whenever he had a chance. It's a portion of the property where my grandpa used to farm, but now we lease out the land and most of the lakefront property has been sold for cabin lots. But there's still a spot that the family cleared a few years ago. Roger did a lot of that work. He set out stones for a fire pit and planted flowers and cleared brush and mowed the grass. I know I'll think of him every time I'm up there. I suspect all of us will.
Here's a picture taken by one of his friends on a trip to Amsterdam; this was taken on his 50th birthday, just a year and a half ago.
There is much more to say, and yet there is nothing more to say. It makes me angry and sad and it's terribly unfair. But he's gone and nothing will change that.
I love you, Roger.