On A Personal Note

I just wanted to post a quick thank you to all of you who shared your kind words and thoughts regarding the news of my Dad’s passing earlier this month, both in the comments to the post that James Joyner kindly put up and via Facebook and Twitter for those who are connected with me in that manner. I ended up staying in New Jersey far longer than I had anticipated, in no small part because of the weather but also because we learned on Wednesday that my Dad’s oldest brother, Father Richard Mataconis, had passed away in Rome on January 21st, precisely ten days after my Dad had passed. Obviously, these two events happening so close together were quite a shock for the family. All of that, plus the fact that my Dad didn’t have Internet access at his home meant a far longer stay away from the online world than I thought, outside of my smartphone of course. Given that I’m likely to be spending a lot of time in New Jersey over the coming months, I’ll obviously have to do something about that situation. Of course, I guess I could just hang out at the local Starbucks to get business done, although I’m not sure I can go back to drinking that much coffee after having cut back considerable since my days in Law School.

In any case, I’m back in Virginia for the next couple weeks at least so blogging will return to normal shortly.

FILED UNDER: Uncategorized, , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Franklin says:

    Additional condolences on the passing of your uncle. That’s certainly a difficult turn of events.

  2. Ron Beasley says:

    Welcome home Doug although home is not always easy to define.

  3. Stonetools says:

    Condolences on the passing of your uncle. Blessings to your family in this difficult time.

  4. Rick Almeida says:

    I’m very sorry to hear of the loss of your uncle, Doug.

  5. CSK says:

    I’m very sorry to learn of this additional blow; my deepest sympathies. Different people have different ways of coping, but I found that when my mother died fairly recently, conducting my life as “normally” as possible helped a lot. And helping my father get through it–theirs was a very long, happy marriage–helped me. Work is good.

    Now for an admission that’s going to make me sound truly demented: The OTB caption contests got me through what might have been some rough moments.

  6. al-Ameda says:

    Peace and blessings to you and your family, Doug.

  7. Pinky says:

    “an admission that’s going to make me sound truly demented”

    The grieving process is demented. It’s thoroughly unpredictable, and it doesn’t come in pre-labelled “stages”. For me, when my mom passed away, it helped me to just accept that there would be moments that would bring me a little comfort or would beat the snot out of me. But again, that was just me, and everyone’s path through it is different. And it’s not a process that you get “through”, anyway. It’s like losing a foot. You learn to adapt to it, but there’s never a moment when you can say you’re recovered.

    Doug, I’m sorry to hear about this second loss as well. You and your family are in my prayers.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Doug, take your time if you need it. If being abused is what you need, we are here for you. Truly, I am sorry for your loss. I have been thru it. I know how hard it is. Words are…. Insufficient.

    When my father died, I was ready. 8 years of alzheimers. Buried my mother and he never asked where she was. But when they blew taps over his casket….

    I cried like a baby.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:


    You learn to adapt to it, but there’s never a moment when you can say you’re recovered.

    A friend of mine from a world far far away in a time long long ago said it best:

    “You never get over it, you just think of it less often.”

  10. PJ says:

    Condolences on the passing of your father.

  11. Joe says:

    I am sorry for your losses. I have closed out the affairs, household and business, of a few family members. It takes time you probably don’t have and energy you probably don’t want to spend there, but it needs to be done and you will get through, just not all at once. I hope you have sufficient support.

  12. bill says:

    welcome back Doug- sorry for the double whammy you endured. you were sorely missed in here.

  13. Andre Kenji says:

    Doug´s losses, heaven´s gain.

  14. anjin-san says:

    Very sorry to hear about your uncle’s passing, and so soon after losing your dad. That’s about as rough as it gets.

    There is a line from a song that’s stuck with me since my dad passed – “the stars shine half as bright, and the moon is twice as lonely”

    The OTB crew will be here when you are ready to get back to it.

  15. SC_Birdflyte says:

    It sounds trite to say this, but the memories of your loved ones, which just now have such power to wound, will in time become a source of healing. I only had one blood uncle; losing him was as bad as losing my father.

  16. John Peabody says:

    Take care, Doug.

  17. Mikey says:

    My goodness, Doug. That’s a whole lot to deal with. Condolences and sympathies for the loss of your uncle.

    I lost my dad a little over a year ago. I found this piece very comforting. If you see this and have a few minutes to read it, you may as well.

  18. grumpy realist says:

    Doug–all my sympathies. Yes, the world is insane with two close deaths so near in time, and you will be continually confronted with people who say “oh, this couldn’t have happened!” Cry, laugh sardonically, read philosophy, kiss a puppy, come here to get yelled at, do whatever is necessary to get through this. The ordinary rules have been suspended and will be for some time.

    (My own parents died four months apart. I read Donne and Annie Dillard incessantly, wrote long thank you notes to every single letter of condolence, and spent the day after my mother’s death ironing every sheet in the house. And listened to a lot of Bach. Whatever works to get you through this.)

  19. the Q says:

    Two quotes which can help:

    Present misfortune must be born with fortitude in the hopes that better times lie ahead.
    – Ben Franklin

    This too shall pass….Jesus

    Take good care of yourself my friend….

  20. Anonne says:

    So sorry to hear about the loss of your uncle, Doug. My condolences again, and I wish for the best for your family and friends.

  21. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    All the best to you Doug and welcome back :-(.

    Starbucks does a very good hot cocoa in case nothing better comes around btw. There are worse fates than mass doses of tasty endorphins.

  22. Kari Q says:

    My sympathies on the loss of both father and uncle. That would be a difficult time for anyone.

    When my mother died, I spent a ridiculous amount of time playing games on Facebook. I never played them before, and I haven’t really played any since (though I am still getting requests from some of my friends there). Whatever works for you, works for you.

    Sometimes, it still doesn’t seem real that she’s gone though. I’ll see something and think “oh she’ll like that!” or something will happen and I’ll think “I have to call Mom and tell her about this!” Sometimes it’s like losing her all over again; other times it’s like it’s keeping her alive, in a sense.