In the summer of 2020 I was — and there's no fancy way to put this — falling apart. My mother died that March, just after Covid hit. My father died a few years before. Strung between the fixed poles of my parents' deaths were the loss of my marriage, Trump's election and the sudden and, it seemed to me, inexplicable deaths of my two best friends. On March 16, 2017, my friend Sean Fahrlander woke up coughing. He stumbled across the bedroom in his house near the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation and collapsed on the floor. By the time his partner got there, he was dead. Not even a year later, my other friend, Dan Jones — whose Ojibwe name was Gaagigebines — went for a walk with his daughter after dinner around the small Ojibwe reserve northeast of Fort Frances where he was from. He, too, coughed and tried to clear his throat. He told his daughter that he wasn't feeling well and that she should get the car. By the time she ran home and came back with her mother, he was in the middle of a massive heart attack. They were my guys, and when I… Read full this story
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