Has it really been two years already?

William Vesper Owen IVToday is the second anniversary of the day my best friend, Bill Owen, was killed by a Dearborn parking ordinance officer with delusions of grandeur. The officer’s name was Agron “Gary” Seiko and he was charged with manslaughter with a possible maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. He ended up plea bargaining the charge down to negligent homicide in exchange for a guilty plea reducing the maximum possible sentence to two years in the process. In the end Seiko got two years probation. Not too shabby considering he killed someone I’d been friends with for over 20 years by being a completely reckless macho dumbass. Within another month or so Seiko’s probation will have come to an end, assuming he’s kept his nose clean for the past two years. Meanwhile the lawsuit Bill’s family filed against the city of Dearborn for $250 million is still lingering in court with the city’s lawyers having whittled that impressive sum down to a possible $6 million, if the family is lucky, with no settlement anywhere in site. By the time the family’s lawyers collect their fees there won’t be a whole lot left.

Somehow that just doesn’t seem right.

Naturally as this day has come closer over the past week my mind has been dwelling on it more than usual. I have this odd mix of emotions where it seems like these events happened decades ago and yet at the same time happened just last week. There aren’t many days that Bill doesn’t cross my mind, but the grief has lessened enough that usually this prompts a smile at recalling a good time we had shared. Time has done much to heal this wound, but it wouldn’t take much picking at the scab to open it back up if I’m not careful.

This is a good day to remind you folks of friends and family you hold dear, but perhaps haven’t seen or heard from in awhile. Pick up the phone or drop by unexpectedly and give them a good solid hug. Grab that digital camera you spent too much money on and make sure you get a few pictures of you as a group, together, smiling and enjoying each other’s company. That’s something I didn’t do enough with Bill and I regret the missed opportunities now. They’re here today, but they might not be tomorrow and that’s all the excuse you need to touch base and remind them of how much you love them.

7 thoughts on “Has it really been two years already?

  1. So sorry for your loss man.A few years ago my best mate who i’d lived with,spent 10 years in the army with – the guy was like a brother you know.Anyhow he moved interstate and thats the last I heard from him.After much chasing around and desperately racking the brain for his parents name.home town etc.. I find out he’s been dead for a year – “Did’nt you know?”.No I did’nt and that hurt almost as much as his death.We were never big letter writers.

  2. It’s hard losing a friend, especially as a result of something that some dumbass did.  My heart goes out to you.  I agree the best thing that we can do is to remember the good times….

  3. Les, so sorry.  The pain never really goes away, does it?  The most we can do is honor and cherish our lost ones.

  4. Thanks for the reminder to say something to people we love. And with that in mind – hey you, I hope you’re doing okay, and hanging in there. smile

    *big hugs*

  5. Les,

    As someone who seems to have been surrounded by death for a good portion of his adult life, my heart goes out to you and your bud’s family.

    It is horrible when someone is taken away in their prime, especailly in situations like this.  Dearborn needs to settle and pay up now… and I hope that the asshat who did this also gets slapped down with civil suits.

    I am a firm believer that plea bargains of ANY kind need to be approved by the aggreived party. No DA should ever plea out a murder without the concent of the victim’s family.

    Two years for killing someone, yet pot heads rot in jail for longer for a couple of joints… Where is the Justice?



    Time will dull the pain, but never alleviate it, and that is good… it helps us remember …

  6. So sorry, Les.  For such a common experience, grief is so personal.  Contrary to what John said, I’m not sure time dulls the pain.  As the loss recedes to the horizon it hurts just as much, but at less frequent intervals. 

    Glad you remember him.  It’s so outrageous that they’re fighting a simple apology, admission of fault, and compensation (that is, enough to hurt them so they’ll remember next time and change their procedures…)

  7. I have been through something similar, but my friend was not as close.  Still, I learned the same lesson—time is short and friendship is important.  My New Year’s Resolution was to contact all those old friends I’d let fall by the wayside.  I am so glad I did.  I’ve been repaid tenfold.

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