15 Years Since JJ's Death



Monday, July 15, 2013 marks the 15th anniversary of the death of JJ La Rue, my boon companion and helpmeet, my wife of 18 years. I dream of her often. I miss her sorely. I wish I could tell her about so many things. I would buy her a smart phone. I imagine teaching her how to use the internet.

She went everywhere with me in the first part of this temporary musical European exile that became so permanent. She was the only person who knew how to pack my gear. She lit my stage show for 15 years. She was a hell of a cook. She could make dinner out of the nothing which we often had. I remember her canned mackerel wonton from the days we could afford only flour and the 20 franc cans of fish.

She was an excellent cartoonist. It is tragic that we were able to keep almost none of her work in our often frantic and disordered flight around the world.

us on the streets of Brussels, 1986.
us on the streets of Brussels, 1986.

We loved each other. Sometimes  I would look across the room where we would disappear into our television during the hungry Brussels years and I would find it difficult to distinguish between us.

She became ill from Primary Pulmonary Hypertension, a one in a million condition that almost no one knew how to treat and which demolished her fragile constitution like a runaway freight train at the end. Before I knew it, she was gone. Poof. Vanished from the face of that particular iteration of all things. Before my very eyes. I watched the heart monitor become a flat line. Beeeeep. It was 19:45 hours, July 15, 1998. I went out and poured dirt over my head. I wailed.

Now, time has healed all things, or at least it has dispensed new sorrows, further joys. I knew it would. When I dream of her, she is living still in Brussels, alive all this time. She has been hiding from us, hidden from our gaze and that of the landlord who has forgotten she is there. I tell her I am with someone else. She understands. And then I awake.

Oh, we all miss you JJ. Perhaps we will meet again, afterwards. We can compare notes and have a laugh. We always had a good laugh together, you and I.

visit the JJ La Rue Memorial Page at mundoblaineo and leave a message in the guestbook.

Author: Blaine L. Reininger

Blaine L. Reininger was born July 10, 1953 in Pueblo, Colorado. Then he lived a life. By and by, he founded Tuxedomoon with Steven Brown in 1977. He traipsed around America, tuxedomooning until 1980, when he began to traipse around Europe. As a direct result of all of this traipsing, many musical compositions were composed, most of which found their way to some sort of mechanical device capable of reproducing musical compositions. This was mostly for the good. He now lives in Athens, Greece, where he is content.

5 thoughts on “15 Years Since JJ's Death”

  1. I am profoundly moved by this, and although we have never met, you walk along the canals of my mind too, together hand in hand forever 🙂

    fino alla fin.


  2. Sadly Blaine, I can completely relate to your very touching and loving tribute. I too lost a sweetheart from my early Mutant days. We were exes at the time, but her sudden passing in 1985 from an aneurysm left me utterly devastated and bereft. I dream about her, passing through her old neighborhood in North Berkeley can reduce me to sobs, and I will miss her til I take my last breath. I know in my heart that by this time we would have been old intimate, comfortable pals, ruefully sharing life’s humbling experiences and rooting for each other to be happy and successful. I have since married a wonderful woman who is my life’s companion, best friend and sweetheart for 24 years, but the pangs of loss are still pretty close to the surface. Thanks for sharing your experience. I have often felt alone in my grief. Best wishes to you. pf


    1. the great thing, though is to have this day of the dead online celebration which is proving to be quite successful and well attended. this is all quite unlike the howling loneliness I felt at her graveside in 1998, isolated and about as far away from home as it is possible to get. I am such a fan of the internet since it has made my exile so much more bearable to be in touch with so many friends all over the world and from many timelines in my past and present.


  3. Dear BlaineO… ” if the flame had burned longer it may have been less brilliant ”

    Life Is Short – Waste It Not… Peace & Love et tu`…JeanieRose…


  4. Blaine:

    I can’t remember if this was posted before or after we had our email exchange about writing about JJ’s death (my face book direct messages are currently only showing back to September)
    This is the most focused of your writing about this that I’ve seen. And maybe all you really need, unless other new insights, new views of the memory of the event sort themselves out.
    If I hadn’t been wrapped up in personal drama when October became November I would has asked you if you were planning to do Día de Muertos observance for JJ. Here in So Cal, near the board, Muertos can be something of a big, the Mexican Bakeries cranking out sugar skulls by the hundreds if not thousands. Not sure if it was or is a big deal in your native New Mexico. Muertos Altars for the beloved can be uplifting and cathartic for those still in these lands of breathing ….


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s