Doug Bruns


In Life on January 30, 2013 at 6:05 am
Michael Dingle in 2009, on his wedding day.

Michael Dingle in2009, on his wedding day.

I haven’t made all too many friends in my years, and very few of them I truly loved. I learned yesterday that Michael died in an accident. He was a friend and I loved him. He was a member of our tribe here at “…the house…” and showed up in at least three posts, most recently just a week ago, My Breakfast with Michael. I honor him with a post I wrote a few years ago.


June 25, 2009

Michael, a close friend, considerably younger than me, pitched a shop-worn cliché recently, declaring, “There must be more to life.” He had arrived at that life transition, where with one foot planted in the autumnal flowering of youth, you find the other foot up and striding to that other place, the parking lot of mature respectability. The older we get, the more assuredly we conclude, ‘Yep, this is it, it’s all she wrote.’ I think Michael was expecting wisdom from me. But I came up short. I kicked the dirt and glanced around, nervously. The young feel the urge of expectancy, the call that a unique life of challenge and discovery awaits them. I remember it well. Later, when that call grows hoarse, then turns to a whisper, you wonder what happened. I didn’t know how to break it to him. He was entering a place in life where the wild genes struggle for attention, as the stable genes manufacture cravings for a sofa and a beer and a Sunday football game on T.V. The stable genes always out-maneuver the wild genes. That is maturity at work. Eventually he will understand.

Everyone does.


Indeed, Michael did come to understand. Shortly after the exchange above, he got married, then, later, became a father. He embraced the “stable gene,” telling me at breakfast last week, “I love my wife, I love my daughter. I love my life.”

  1. I’m sorry for your lose.

    May your friend’s soul rest in perfect peace. Amen

  2. I will have a few extra drinks tonight to honor Michael. Thank you Michael Dingle, for your Socratic questioning and most recently for beyond irony.

  3. And it sound like he embraced it in full force, the ‘stable gene’. He loved. That in itself, is a hardest challenge and a biggest discovery many turn there backs to.

    Sorry for your lost, Doug.

    • Yes, it is in itself…a lesson, if not much more–and it is more. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to best live. He didn’t spend too much trying, he just did it. It is special to know a person like that. Thanks for your thought and observation.

  4. May you feel his spirit deep within you!

  5. Michael’s wedding attire says a lot about his humor and not taking himself too seriously. I think death is most easy to face when one can say, “I love my life.” An abrupt ending is just difficult for those left behind. Thanks for introducing Michael to us.

    • Yes, “I love my life” is the quintessential pre-demise epitaph. And true, the ones left behind–I have a picture in my mind of him holding his little girl–that is where the pain resides. And yes, on a lighter note, the wedding day attire was classic Dingle. Loved that about the guy. Thanks for the note, Susan. I appreciate the support.

  6. Was wondering if you heard anything about a viewing for michael. I was a friend that lost touch with him over the years and just heard about the tragedy and couldn’t find anything

  7. I thought of Michael when I read this sentence: “Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.”

    James Joyce from “The Dubliners.”

    We don’t usually get to choose a bold versus a withering passing, so I don’t know if it makes sense to judge one against the other, but the words seemed consoling. To Michael.

  8. […] first view of Devil’s Tower reminded me of my friend Michael Dingle. Dingle and I were going to climb it a few years back when the two of us were spending all our […]

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