I Am Not Dead

Barry Fralick
2 min readMar 1, 2024
Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

It’s been over a year since I last published here. But I am not dead. I lost my rhythm in 2023. I couldn’t write anything worth reading. Hell, I’m not sure this is worth reading.

I had an amazing writing opportunity in February last year but was ghosted. I really wanted to work with this particular client. In retrospect, I think it was for the best that I didn’t.

Soon after, my Dad approached me and asked me to run his business. He completely blindsided me. He said he wasn’t physically able anymore. I didn’t know anything was wrong. It turned out he was sick. We found out he had cancer a couple of weeks later. I talked to him nearly every day on the phone. I never told him I loved him. He died on a Sunday morning at the beginning of May.

I continued my duties throughout the spring and summer assisting with the sale of his company, taking care of his things, and his lawn. I was burning the candle at both ends.

My wife and I took a long road trip in August. I thought it would be relaxing. It was the first time we had taken a vacation in years. But I was mentally exhausted. We got into a huge fight and came home early. Cracks in our relationship were showing.

We bought a puppy in September. He is a good boy. I house-trained him, and loved on him. I examined my marriage. I became reclusive. I longed for winter so things would slow down.

One fall morning, my wife got a 5 am phone call. Her brother was rushing her father to the hospital. He was having a heart attack. He died a few hours later. We buried him on a dewy October morning in a small rural cemetery next to his late wife.

The holidays came and went. We survived them. I vowed to get back on track in 2024. There was no Christmas tree and there were no presents. We went through the motions. I did not get on track. I’ve all but wasted the first two months of the year.

I’m not looking for sympathy. Pity parties aren’t my jam. This is more of a confession. Some years you just don’t have it, and that’s okay. It’s all part of the cycle of life.

I am going to try and write more this year. And I’m going to be more bold. Say hello, because I am not dead.

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