Pfc Shane M. Reifert

Pfc Shane M. Reifert
Shane during a sweep of the Shuryak Valley, approximately 3 weeks before he was killed. Photo Credit: PFC Sean Stromback

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Shane's Guitars

Before Shane joined the Army, he played the guitar. It was one of the hardest things for him to give up when he joined. Shane had over a dozen guitars. I know nothing about them except that one is an acoustic, one is a bass, and the rest are electric. Now the guitars sit and gather dust or are entombed in cases like caskets. 

The other day, my friend was over. He used to have a band. He can learn to play a song just by hearing it. He has a breathy but strong voice and gets nervous for the first few seconds he plays the guitar in front of others. And I showed him Shane's guitars. My friend opened each case with care and I could hear excitement in his voice as he explained what each one was. I had no idea what he was talking about, but it didn't matter because someone was appreciating and understanding something that Shane loved so much. It made me feel better for a moment. It made me feel connected. 

This friend never got to meet Shane and I deeply regret this. I know that he and Shane would have gotten along, that Shane would have approved of him as my friend (something he rarely did) and they probably would have even been friends themselves. That is why on Wednesday this friend has kindly granted my family's request to perform a song that Shane wanted played at his funeral, on Shane's Taylor acoustic guitar. Hearing my friend play this song tonight for me made me fear that this will be the last time I ever hear someone play Shane's guitars. It made me realize that Shane himself will never play those guitars that he cared for so much. I thought of all of the songs that Shane will never learn, all of the music he will never hear, and most of all, of the finality of death. 



  2. How bittersweet this must have felt for whomever has composed their affection into words of someone they loved so deeply.My heart hurts for you without ever knowing who you, him, or your relationship to each other.......I, for one, am thankful for a minds eye that allows me to reflect upon kindered moments with those I love, that have passed, and appreciating the confirmation of reconnecting spirits....( I know that this, is one of so very many...)..I want to tell him thank you, I want to tell you..thank you for being someone that loved doubt an influence in some fashion of the man he grew to be.....I, am proud to be part of a country, a population so passionate of this right of life as we so live it, that it produces men and women such as Shane, that without, we would not have. My condolences to you,
    Heather Keitz

  3. Eric did an amazing job with a song that was so fitting. All in attendance were moved by his performance.
    I took Shane's favorite Stratocaster out of its case Monday night. I polished it and re-strung it and I'm going to devote some time to playing it, and the rest of his guitars each day.