When We Lose a Man Like That

Dan “Dano” Gordon Freeman… August 2nd, 1967 – September 27th, 2020

When we lose a man like that…

As Emerging Men how are we to identify those “other” men that we would like to emulate, as we define our own brand of manliness?

Many of us have lost a close family friend, who’s presence covered a large swath of our lives.

When we lose a man like that…

I found out later in life how well he had taken care of his wife. A goal I have as my own.

I don’t believe I have attained his level of being a husband… but I’m still here trying, and using him as an example.

When we lose a man like that…

I had the honor of participating in his funeral service, providing the Lords message.

Learning about his early days, from his Aunt, who performed the eulogy, from her I learned where “he” learned to be a man… from his grandpa.

When I was a kid hanging around with him, friends, and family, I felt cool because “I knew him”, when someone would ask, “Hey, do you know him?”

My response was tinged with a slight air of arrogance… “Him? Oh yeah, I just talked to him the other day.”

Acting like I was super close with him. And cool myself just by association. (But I wasn’t special… everybody knew Dano!)

Now just to be honest… I did make sure to talk to him when we all got together. If you watched closely you could see he was not a man to “make the rounds,” or “work the room.” He didn’t need to.

He was the center, he was the large tree who’s presence took up the whole yard, and eventually, everyone would make their way around to him, he let the conversation come to him.

When we lose a man like that…

If you look at him, as a man, the things we look to, to help identify what a man is, here at The Emerging Man, those things are very evident…

  • very handy to have around, “Don’t be useless” as my wife would say.
  • could drive heavy equipment
  • he was smart
  • a willing dad
  • an unwavering husband
  • had a presence that occupied whatever space he happened to be in
  • if you wanted to be his friend he would let you in and adjust accordingly later on depending on your attitude and behavior
  • as his aunt said, “having life long friends that turned into a brotherhood.”
  • avid hunter and fisherman, putting work in on his hunting land
  • drove a motorcycle (this one may be optional… I crash motorcycles)
  • and being well known and respected by the community at large
  • was one tough son-of-bitch!
  • AND… a grandpa now himself.

When we lose a man like that…

It’s like losing that large Sugar Maple that took up the whole south lawn. It leaves a large emptiness in our lives when it’s removed.

Dano did not “go quietly into that good night.” He fought, he took treatments, until he decided it was time to not take them… and like that big maple… he still didn’t go easy.

Only time will be able to cover over the large space Dano occupied in our lives.

As an Emerging Man yourself, look ahead and find some empty space to fill with your presence.

In the words of the Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius… (and what I believe Dano would say to you if he were here)

“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. (Go) Be one.”

5 thoughts on “When We Lose a Man Like That

  1. Omg you nailed it on the head. He helped me out a couple of times and no questions asked. I should say Dano and Michelle helped me out. I didn’t make the funeral. You have an amazing way with words. Thank you.


  2. EXACTLY….Well Said


  3. I can’t even count how many times Dano and Michelle helped me out! Such an honor to have been able to call him a friend. Much love to Michelle and the family. So well said. Thank you for writing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amazingly powerful message!


  5. paulmichielsallstatecom October 15, 2020 — 2:26 pm

    I do no think I knew him….who was his Dad?

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