Retired disc jockey, age 65, loses first son age 37 and in perfect health
by Dan McPhail
I'm Dan, an entertainer from southeast Michigan. Mary and i were 5 years without children and Todd came along in 1975. Never was a boy loved so much. All boy, mischievious, bright. Short like my wife all his life (4 ft.9 as an adult). Rough times from 14-17 the rebellious teen years. But from 18 on Todd became my best friend. He had hundreds of friends. Professional MRI tech. A beautiful 3 year old daughter from a brief now over relationship. Perfect loving dad. Life of the party positive thinking liked by everyone as close to perfect a son as could be. Our second son Troy, 34, was his best friend. Todd Troy and i were all literally best friends. Talk daily, rarely an argument. Both sons lived blocks apart in Mt. Morris Michigan. Troy was watching tv football with Todd in Todd's Mt. Morris apartment Sunday Nov. 18th.. Todd complained of "an odd" feeling in his stomach but they both turned in. At 7 Monday morning my wife throws open my bedroom door and wails "Todd is dead". I scream "it can't be lord". We drive the 8 miles to the apartment, medical and law enforcement there. Todd's on the floor,face purple, eyes open, obviously gone. I throw myself on his body hugging him screaming and wailing "it can't be lord". Troy through his tears says he got up to make coffee and noticed Todd still, couldn't wake him.
Paramedics took him away for the mandatory autopsy because no health problems and not a hospital death. My body felt numb. I felt like it was a dream i was going to wake up from. Death certificate says undetermined cause of death. Not a heavy drinker or drug user. Mortician at local funeral home did wonderful job. Beautiful natural peaceful expression. Being a broadcaster i wrote and delivered the eulogy along with a local pastor. Didn't blubber or break up, hardest thing i've ever done in my life. I still can't believe Todd is gone. That i won't have those 20 years i have left to share with him. That he won't see his daughter Savannah grow up. Emotions have swung from wishing i was dead to smiling at the hundreds of photos through tears to still thinking it's a nightmare, not real. Saw the local Compassionate Friends location here in southeast Michigan. Am going to a meeting soon. Am settling his finances and friends are cleaning out his apartment this week. Troy is such pain. I wouldn't wish this on anyone.
I'm somewhat religious but keep saying why would God take a healthy 37 year old man with everything to live for? I wouldn't wish this pain on my worst enemy. But i'm going to just try to live my life the way i know he would have wanted me to. I know if he could talk to me from heaven he would say "dad, i know you all miss me but i had a good life. just take care of savannah and mom and troy and live a happy life for me. That thought is all that's keeping me sane. thanks for this site and letting me tell my story. As i said at Todd's eulogy, treat everyone you love every day like it might be the last time you see them.