OT: I lost my best friend of 31 years last Thursday

I know this is strange posting here but I haven’t felt this bad in a long time. His name was Marcus Bland and he was 48 years old. We both coached our AAU team together but that was just a small part of our relationship.

He had high blood pressure in his early 20’s and didn’t know it. When it was caught it had already damaged his kidneys. He had a kidney transplant in 2015 and it rejected in 2018. He did everything he could until this past September when he never came home from the hospital.

I gave his eulogy Monday and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. We talked about 5 times a day everyday until a few months ago. During Razorback games we called each other every timeout and talked the enter halftime. When we were losing it was good therapy from both of us.

Last Wednesday I held his hand and I told him don’t dare watch the game tonight and he asked why. I said because Alabama is going to kill us and we can’t talk on the phone to complain about it. He pulled me close to him and whispered “I don’t want to die Jeff”. I fell apart right then.

I love you guys, please say a prayer for his family and mine. My life is forever changed.


That’s awful to die so young. Prayers going up for both your and his families. You and he did God’s work with those boys you coached all those years. He’s reaping his rewards for that now. God bless.


So sorry for your loss! Praying for both families.


So sorry Jeff. Rarely have I been at a setting to hear last words like that. I will be soon.

I’m going to help baptize a dying friend Monday. Will join with two others. I am not terribly close to him, but apparently no one is. He reached out to me and another. We both took him fishing several times and he knows me best through my work. Always got nice notes from him. He has read this forum through the years, although never posted. He does not read it now.

He left his family years ago to manage Sam’s Clubs in places they did not want to live. Bitter feelings.

So he’s got a really small core left. That’s who will be there Monday in a private setting at a huge church.

I’m an ordained Baptist deacon and so a pastor suggested I do it instead of him. So I will.

I know there will be emotional words. I’ll make a long drive to be there. Afterwards, we will help move him to hospice and he will be gone in a few days. I pray that it will be sooner. So sad.


God bless you Clay for what you’re doing!

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God bless you Clay. Your a good man for doing this.

Praying for you Clay.

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Thank you Harley. Three of our Rockets got up and spoke at the service and I couldn’t have been more proud of them. I really appreciate the kind words.

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Thank you Jerry!

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Everyone hang in there. Life is tough and sometimes not fair. This getting old is tough and the young dying way to early. Sometimes we just don’t know what to say. I do know this each and everyone of us is here for a purpose! Use those gifts we are given today because tomorrow may never come. Blessings to all!


Jeff, so sorry for your loss. In December we spent the last two weeks with my sweet sister in law. Her and Wendell were out best friends. The day before she died I leaned over and told her “this is your crazy brother Danny, I love you”. She opened her eyes nodded and say “I know”. I was blessed to speak at her celebration of life and managed to get through it without breaking down until I finished. Praying for you, his family and friends. You’re a good man Jeff and obviously a great friend. Prayers…


Prayers for sure


Man, Jeff, I’m having trouble finding the right words to say. My heart is broken for you.
I hope posting your feelings here is therapeutic for you. It sure helps me sometimes.
There are a lot of good people here, and I have some truly good friends here that I’ve never met.
So do you, including me.
Love you, brother.


Getting old sucks. I’ll be dealing with this very soon. My best friend of 32 years is entering end of life planning. He’s been battling cancer for 14 years and he has finally grown tired of the fight. He’s only 65, a bit younger than me.

I’m not sure how I’m going to deal with this actually, can’t imagine my world without him in it. We’ve been through good times and horrible times together. The only thing that comforts me any is that he’s ready to go. He’s prepared for this for years.


Sorry for your loss LD.

Thank you for always being supportive. Love ya LD


Thank you Jeremy! It really is therapeutic for me. I have met so many people on here through the years that have been good to me and most I have never met face to face.

When I met you for the first time on here I told Scotty about it. Scotty said “Jeremy is good people”!

I love you Jeremy! Thank you for the support.


I know my words are inadequate to comfort in your time of loss, but please know the intention is there when I tell you how sorry I am for your loss. We are gifted by God with friends and loved ones, unfortunately sometimes for too short a time, but rest assured that you and Marcus were treasured gifts to each other. My prayer for you is for your grief to be shortened and your sweet memories be expanded.


SD our situations sound so similar. I wish I could tell you there was a good way to prepare but there’s not. I tried to not leave anything unsaid which there really wasn’t much, that’s how close we were.

We are lucky in life to have friends that we share everything with. I just don’t have anyone like Marcus to fill that void.

God bless you SD

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Thank you Keith! Your words were great! I really appreciate the kind words and the prayers.

Love ya

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That post just destroyed me. I am SO SORRY. I have a friend like that. His name is Luke Conway. We have been like brothers since age 4. I cannot imagine life without him.

I will pray for you and yours, his and his. I am looking at my miraculous wife who has been dancing with cancer for 8 years now. She is cancer free! But on immuno. So the dance continues in a sense.

Life is uncertain. Fleeting. Can feel so UNFAIR.

God is there my friend. Whatever one’s faith or creed. Or if one doesn’t have a formal one at all. God is there. Doesn’t feel like at times like this I know. But God is there. I felt God’s presence even in my darkest hours of fear, sitting in the Mayo Clinic chapel. Perhaps I should say I felt God’s presence especially in my darkest hours. You will too. As will your friends family.

God Bless.


Thank you Hog. I’ve had a great life but parts of it have been very dark. Most of those dark days I shared with Marcus.

I chose a song to play before I gave his eulogy. The name of the song is “I won’t complain”. I only heard Marcus complain a few times about his condition but never in front of his children.

The song starts with:

I’ve had some good days
I’ve had some hills to climb
I’ve had some weary days
And some sleepless nights

But when I look around
And I think things over
All of my good days
Outweigh my bad days
I won’t complain