Beloved daddy and mama,” their headstone reads, a Christian cross and a praying angel inscribed above their names.

Jay Daniels had to deliver to his son Jayden the news: “Paw-paw passed away.”

Grandson never said goodbye, in person, to his grandfather, the man who drove him to so many practices, the Air Force veteran who taught him to remain stoic and even keel, to never flinch.

In the wake of such a traumatic experience, Jay and Jayden took William’s age-old advice. Pick yourself up by the bootstraps, he’d always tell them. Nobody is going to feel sorry for you, he’d say.

And so, each of them in a dark place, their feelings buried within, they marched onward with life. No matter that they removed two loved ones from life support 27 days apart, that they closed two caskets on the same day, Jay and Jayden insisted that they were OK. That’s at least what they told one another.

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