Dan Gisvold at Bear Creek

Monday, January 24, 2011

Dan Keeps Talking

Today I was telling people who were nearly perfect strangers about losing Dan. It was the wrong place and the wrong time and yet it was so right. I was sitting in a small conference room on the 15th floor of 2 Embarcadero, San Francisco, California. At the table with me was my co-counsel and our insurance representative. We were there for a mediation. We had separated from the larger group (about 15 lawyers and insurance reps in our big room--about 30 people involved all together) to talk about  strategies and issues regarding our client.

The case involved the death of a person and we were talking about loss and the emotional cost of loss. And it just came out. I told the story almost in the third person. I wanted them to know what the facts were before I talked about the emotion. And it worked.

It is just weird. Dan just keeps helping me. His story created a platform for my co-counsel, the insurance rep and I to begin really talking about the underlying emotional issues without being embarrassed or posturing. We must have stayed in that conference room for 2 hours.

As I was flying home tonight, I thought about Dan and how he could talk to anyone. He was so like our father in that regard. Dan would go to a restaurant or tavern and spend most of his time talking to people. And my people I mean other than those that came with him. If you weren't into working the room then you were kinda on your own.

I was really use to that as Dad would do this all the time. He always knew the owner of the restaurant or half the patrons or most of the staff. Dan had that talent. It was fun to watch. He would do it at any social event. At our last Christmas Concert (Vocal Arts Ensemble) at the Mission in San Luis Obispo, he made friends with Jed's parents (whom he had never met before) and with friends of mine from Bakersfield (whom he had not met before that night either!). He made friends with members of VAE just by being there. His goofy grin and his gift of gab were great things to watch.

And I think that today, he was exerting his gift of gab. I wasn't looking for sympathy. I didn't have any intention of mentioning Dan's death. This was a business meeting. This was a mediation on a serious case. And Dan came in and made it easier for me.

Thanks, Big Brother.

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