One of my fraternity brothers-in-loss, whose eleven year old son, Christian,  passed away suddenly from a fast moving illness five years ago, sent me this message on Jimmy’s angel date in 2017.

I see what so many go through when they try to talk to friends and family about loved ones we have lost.  I sit here contemplating what to say as my eyes tear up thinking of our loss. 

There have been so many moments in my journey that I wished it could all be over and I get to see my boy again in heaven.  I have come to realize that my burden is shared by many and our friendship has helped me realize that.  My discussions with you have helped me realize I/we are not alone.  Our families need us right here on earth to remember our loved ones and take care of the family members still with us. 

 Heaven can wait.  

I wish you and your family a day of fond memories, laughter and love!

Christian 2012


I shared this beautiful message with my wife Hilary and it reminded her of a quote from Viktor Frankl:

To live is to suffer
To survive is to find some meaning in the suffering

 As it turns out, those words are from Friederich Nietzche.

Viktor Frankl

But Viktor also had some riveting thinks to say about suffering in his book Man’s Search for Meaning. If you haven’t read it, I recommend that you do.

If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.

In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.  I think this was the quote Hilary was thinking of.

The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity – even under the most difficult circumstances – to add a deeper meaning to his life. He may remain brave, dignified and unselfish. Or in the bitter fight for self-preservation he may forget his human dignity and become no more than an animal.

And of course there is this sage wisdom from our favorite poet:

Suffering is the only honest work
                        Jimmy Gauntt © 2007

uffering is the only honest work

Here’s to us survivors and all the work to be done here.

Heaven will just have to wait.


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Author Bios

Write Me Something Beautiful Authors - Casey and Jimmy Gauntt

Casey Gauntt

is a retired attorney and former senior executive of a major San Diego real estate company. He lives in Solana Beach, California, with his wife, Hilary. Casey grew up in Itasca, Illinois, graduated Lake Park High School in 1968, and received B.S., JD and MBA degrees from the University of Southern California.

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Jimmy Gauntt

was born and raised in Solana Beach and graduated from Torrey Pines High School in 2002.   A prestigious Trustee Scholar at the University of Southern California, he majored in English and Spanish. He authored six plays, five screenplays, and a multitude of poems and short stories. Beginning in 2010, the USC English Department annually bestows the Jimmy Gauntt Memorial Award—aka “The Jimmy”—to the top graduates in English.  Jimmy passed over to the other side in 2008 at age 24.

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