John Finnegan - The Best of Us All - Rest in Peace

James Trotta

Spellsword
Diversity Committee
At the last HQ event I was sitting in the tavern looking at the portrait of Duke Bryan that I donated. I thought I felt like talking so I was going to ask someone who it was but I realized I was thinking about John and not the game or the character or whatever. So I just sat there for a few minutes remembering things. It was nice.
 

Von Raven

Artisan
This past Thursday, in preparation for my family's eventual move, we had to finally pack up all the D&D stuff in the basement gaming room.

We had not played the campaign since a couple of weeks before John's death (in fact, the Saturday of his funeral was supposed to have been our next gaming session--which is why I laid out a DM screen, some dice and petwer figures beside his coffin). In the gloom of the gaming room, I gazed upon the scattered rule books, the pens and pencils and scribbled notes from our final session together, saw the dice that had come to their last roll now gathering dust, half-smiled at the soda cans and empty snack wrappers that still littered the table. It was like a tomb of faded fun times now forever gone. There will be other gaming fun, to be sure, but none where I look across the table and see my friend either grinning with delight to be gathered with his pals, or his head in a book combing the rules for some last minute loophole to save the day for his adventuring party...or even nodding off, having imbibed a little too much.

For a while I procrastinated, instead of packing up all the stuff, I took in the scene of hero and monster miniatures upon the 3D terrain, all still fixed in their last battle positions. I let my fingers lovingly trace John's name that he had scrawled inside the cover of his books, flipped through the pages and I just had to stop. It all hit me, the unexpected, sudden bubbling up of grief and I stood there, eyes closed tight, trying to hold on against the coming malestrom of emotion. I was standing with my back to Colleen and I heard her pause. She said, "I know."

And that broke me.

It so strange how the grieving process works; you're cruising along through the days just fine and then...WHAM! Simultaneous memory and emotion bombard you...the proverbial thunderbolt from the clear sky. And that's how it's been since that past Thursday. That's how it is now, as I write this, for it is the quiet hours of the early A.M. that I think of John the most.
 

Gwendara

Fighter
I didn't know him as well as I now wish I had. I wish I had been able to make more NJ events and get to know this man better. A man, who when I read the memories his friends post, it makes *me* cry. I can feel the love you all have for him and never thought I would read these posts and cry for a man I only knew too briefly. It says something about John and all of you, that the things you say about him and how you remember him can evoke such powerful emotions from someone who barely knew him, and really only knows most of you from your posts. It makes me think of a quote I heard recently... I think I would weep for you even if I never met you. That's the kind of man I know John Finnegan as.
 
This post really made my heart hurt. I miss you, too, John. And I wish I hadn't let the years and distance between us become so great.

--- Eric Stehle


Von Raven said:
This past Thursday, in preparation for my family's eventual move, we had to finally pack up all the D&D stuff in the basement gaming room.

We had not played the campaign since a couple of weeks before John's death (in fact, the Saturday of his funeral was supposed to have been our next gaming session--which is why I laid out a DM screen, some dice and petwer figures beside his coffin). In the gloom of the gaming room, I gazed upon the scattered rule books, the pens and pencils and scribbled notes from our final session together, saw the dice that had come to their last roll now gathering dust, half-smiled at the soda cans and empty snack wrappers that still littered the table. It was like a tomb of faded fun times now forever gone. There will be other gaming fun, to be sure, but none where I look across the table and see my friend either grinning with delight to be gathered with his pals, or his head in a book combing the rules for some last minute loophole to save the day for his adventuring party...or even nodding off, having imbibed a little too much.

For a while I procrastinated, instead of packing up all the stuff, I took in the scene of hero and monster miniatures upon the 3D terrain, all still fixed in their last battle positions. I let my fingers lovingly trace John's name that he had scrawled inside the cover of his books, flipped through the pages and I just had to stop. It all hit me, the unexpected, sudden bubbling up of grief and I stood there, eyes closed tight, trying to hold on against the coming malestrom of emotion. I was standing with my back to Colleen and I heard her pause. She said, "I know."

And that broke me.

It so strange how the grieving process works; you're cruising along through the days just fine and then...WHAM! Simultaneous memory and emotion bombard you...the proverbial thunderbolt from the clear sky. And that's how it's been since that past Thursday. That's how it is now, as I write this, for it is the quiet hours of the early A.M. that I think of John the most.
 

Von Raven

Artisan
It's strange; the other morning, I had a dream of John -- it has been some time since I last had one -- where Colleen, he and I were gathered in the living room. He was smiling in that warm way he had. In the dream, I knew he couldn't stay, that we had just a brief visit from him. I was telling John of the second The Gamers movie (I had just watched the movie) and how I wished we could watch it together. He nodded and said that he'd have to check it out. A sudden burst of sadness hit me in the dream and, for some reason, I was crawling away, trying to get out of the living room. But I only made it to the threshold to the foyer before I broke down in sobs. I awoke then, with tears streaming and then sat up in bed. Eventually, I grabbed my phone and checked my emails and was stunned to see a notification that someone had replied to this very thread.

On New Year's Eve, while out, I ordered a Kamikaze. When it arrived, I took a pull from the glass, set it down and considered the golden liquid within. Grief struck as I remembered that when John and I first hung out, he and I went shot for shot with kamikazes (he won, I staggered ouside the bar and sat down on someone's stoop, quite oblivious to where I was). It also reminded me of my final birthday with him, I had drank too many kamikazes and hadn't been that drunk in years (sorry for puking on your rug, John).

Hard to believe that in just under three months it will be two years since John's death. I still clearly hear the fateful, frantic phone call, my mother screaming, I can still see all the vehicles -- especially that slow moving tow truck -- that was in our path as Andrea and I raced to the house -- and even thinking, why are we speeding so fast there, he's already gone --I can, even now, feel the thick cold plastic of the body bag as I patted it to say farewell, still hear the coroner saying, "On three..." as the police and I lifted his body into the back of the coroner's vehicle. I can remember telling his father via the phone that his son had died and his father confused, possibly thinking it was some prank, since it was a Patrick who was calling him on St. Patrick's day.

Thanks to all who keep this thread going. I know it means a lot to my sister. And it certainly speaks volumes of just what kind of man John Finnegan was.
 
All you energetic Larpers, Feb. 22 was dear John Finnegan's birthday. I know that Colleen and the rest of the Capuano family held all the love you hold for them in their hearts and that John was smiling down on all of us, singing a song, and leading some kind of wild adventure up in the heavens! Aunt Gloria
 

tigstoo

Newbie
It’s a gloomy day here in Burlington, NC where I work. I have a big window right beside of my workstation in the pathology lab that I can gaze out of and watch the rain fall and the fog roll across the trees. It’s an especially sad day because I am going to a funeral home tonight to say goodbye to a coworker and friend of mine who fought a brave battle with lung cancer and lost. And as I look at his obituary in our little town paper and look at the date it hits me. It is almost 2 years since John Finnegan passed away. And I am even sadder.

John and my coworker Ken probably didn’t have much in common. Ken was an older man with grandchildren. John didn’t even have any kids. Ken was talking about retirement. Well, we are all far off from that. Ken thought I was a crazy yankee for getting dressed up in medieval clothing and LARPing. We all know that LARPing was a huge part of John’s life. I think the thing that made me think of John as I mourn that passing of my friend and that they were both people who loved life, and never knew a stranger. John was not a close friend but an old friend who we saw each other grow from crazy 20 somethings running through the woods at 2 am in the morning to older people with marriages & mortgages, reminiscing about those times as our joints creaked from one too many falls during a battle.

Next week I will be heading to NERO here in NC for the first time for the season. It is a completely different world from what we had at NERO Ashbury and what you guys have there now with Alliance. And I miss it. Those were some of the best years we ever had at NERO and we tell our new friends about our old travels in different lands. And then we pause when we think of John Finnegan and how much we miss that he is not here. How we wonder how Colleen and Patrick are doing, and the rest of his family.

The thing that keeps coming to mind to make me feel better and smile is a memory of all of us in a big Saturday field battle in a Hold for whatever reason, bodies everywhere, people asking what the hold is about- and John is standing there in his too small NPC tabard and big old shorts shouting at the top of his lungs “ I am a sexy beast!!!” shaking his chunky hips as he waving his weapons around and me dying laughing as we all cheer him on. And Colleen off in the distance rolling her eyes and laughing. Maybe it's John tapping me on the shoulder telling me to stop being sad for missing him and remember the wild and crazy guy he was. At least that's what I think.

I miss John Finnegan. And I think a part of me always will. I pray that whatever is upstairs gives Colleen, Patrick and all of his family that strength to carry on without him, until the day we are with him. Colleen I just want to give you a big hug from all the way down here in NC tell you that Mike and I miss you and think of you often.

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you.

Barbara Dufour
Formally Kiren Tobith of the Black Unicorns
Now a crazy gypsy sarr in the lands of NC
 

Von Raven

Artisan
"...and never knew a stranger."

Barbara, I think that's one of the best descriptions of John; anyone whom he interacted with, however short a time, was his friend.

We miss you guys, too. Long live the Black Unicorns!
 

Gilwing

Baron
Alliance Logistics
Wow. Its been two years. We still miss you buddy. I seem to still be at a loss for words when trying to talk about you, I don't know why, there is always something great to say about you. As I sit at my computer this AM, waiting for my 5:30am newscast to start with Fade Away by Another Animal playing I can help but tear up thinking about you and those silly faces you always made.

John please continue to watch over Colleen and protect her. What about Patrick you ask, John we both know that hes crazy and every one else needs to be protected from him ;) . Be strong big guy, we will meet up again in time.

By the way I still have that ring you gave me. Its still huge and I never grew into it, but every time I look at it or wear it I know that I have a peace of you with me...
 

tieran

Duke
Gettysburg Staff
Marshal
Hey John-

Much love buddy.

-Justin
 

Duke Frost

Baron
Owner
Moderator
HQ Staff
Recently a new owner asked if there were any resources for running a weekend. Mike V posted something John had written on the subject. I started reading a bit, thinking it would be good to reread it. As I read it, I could hear John speaking the words.

I miss you JTF.

Scott
 
Every day when I log into Yahoo mail, the program combs through my e-mail list and offers to give me updates for about my contacts. One of the contacts it offers to update me on is John. I keep thinking I should tell Yahoo not to update me on John, since I know I'll never get any information, but I just can't force myself to press the button. It is difficult to be reminded, almost daily, of a lost loved one, but part of me is very happy about it, too.

-MS
 

Von Raven

Artisan
I still have his cell phone number in my list of contacts.
 
I'm an old friend of John's from Acton, MA. We grew up together all through elementary school through High School. We lost touch once we both went off to college. I had hoped to see him at one of the reunions and was chocked when I heard about his death. The last time I spoke to him was at his brother Bobby's funeral. We planned on getting together sometime down in the New York. Shortly thereafter I unfortunately lost his business card and couldn't reconnect with him. I truly regret not being able to restablish contact with him as he was a great guy....then again I don't need to tell any of you that.
I just wanted to keep this thread going a little bit longer.
 

Von Raven

Artisan
John,

Wish you were with me for the return of Duke Aramis. It was a rough time; first time that I had ever played Aramis where you were not a part of it. Miss you, pal.
 

Ezri

Knight
HQ Staff
I scan through the boards pretty much every day. Not sure why, but today it felt like too long since I saw the little indicator on this thread that something new had been posted. So despite the fact that I should have been asleep hours ago, I re-read the entire thread. All the memories, the laughs the tears.

We still miss you John.
 

Von Raven

Artisan
Amen. It really says what kind of wonderful person John was that, nearly 3 years since his death, time has not quite healed all of our wounds yet. That's what kind of presence he had and the impact he made in our lives...even if one only knew him for a short time.
 

jen

Newbie
Hello, everyone.

Just missing John is all, stopping in and leaving my little message to say so.

- jen
 
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