My Bob. I’m not ready to accept that he’s gone. I’m not going to say goodbye yet.
I imagine him out there, still on the road, doing what he loves with all his heart and humor. He’s standing on stage, killing! Another two-hour set in front of a couple hundred of the luckiest people on the planet. They’re laughing so hard they weep. And just when they catch their breath, he grabs his guitar and slays them with one of his musical closers. There’s an encore, and another, and another. Everyone here wants an encore with Bob.
He calls his one true love, Kelly [Rizzo], and tells her about his show. He says he feels 26 again, alive, then asks her to fix up a picture he wants to post, and she says it doesn’t need fixing and tells him how handsome he is. He says he loves her with every bit of his heart. And when he gets to the hotel to put his head on the pillow, he misses his daughters, his family and his friends.
God, he loves us all so much. Bob goes to sleep dreaming of when we’ll meet again — and he’s smiling. I know in my heart he’s smiling, still hearing the laughter from a few hours before.
He should still be out there challenging himself creatively, stripping down all the Hollywood bull—, traveling to small towns around the country, giving the people raw, wild, unpredictable, and uncensored Saget. “Tonight’s specials are cake and cock … and we’re out of cake.”
When I saw his last Instagram post, my first thought was he looked too “alive” to die a few hours later. But I guess that’s right. We should all want to “die alive.” We don’t want to be filled with regret and remorse, forgotten and discarded. We want to be overwhelmed with the privilege and bounty of doing what we do best. Bob felt young, energized, grateful and appreciated. The applause and laughter didn’t have time to die down before Bob did. He never ran out of cake … or the other stuff. He died bright and fierce.
Personally, I hope to die after a beautiful night of lovemaking with my wife, but I’m glad Bob didn’t go that way. As I said, I rather he dies after doing what he did best. (Sorry, Kelly.) That’s the kind of joke Bob loved.
It’s hard to explain who Bob was to me personally without understanding that he’s your Bob too.
The worldwide ocean of love for him has been unbelievable. Though it’s been hard for me to look at the tributes, stories, magazine covers, millions of social media posts, I feel everyone out there is getting it right, saying the perfect thing, remembering Bob in these remarkable ways.
I just wish he knew how much the world loved him when he was here. I spent many a night trying to convince him of how loved he really was (or maybe it was the other way around — him trying to convince me how loved he was). But that was just Bob bluster. There’s no way he thought his death would have this kind of impact. This is the kind of coverage that speaks to someone who genuinely connected with people, and not just for a moment, but for generations.
I even saw an article titled: “What Bob Saget meant to immigrant kids.” It spoke of how he struck a chord among many immigrant children and how they learned to speak English from him. Now, I adore my Bob Saget but … really? Really? I can just hear a bunch of kids running around saying: “I love my mother, and you can too for $12.”
One of the great honors of my life is being associated with him at this moment in time.
I’ve gotten thousands of texts, emails and calls speaking to our 35-year friendship, telling me how sorry they were for my loss. People have even sent flowers like I lost my wife or something. Come to think of it, when we were together, we were like an old, married couple: all bickering, no sex.
Last summer, Bob and Dave [Coulier] and I did a personal appearance together. It was a high-pressure gig dealing with COVID protocols and all And let’s remember, Bob played a dust-busting neat freak. Typecasting? Yup — so he was extra … let’s call it neurotic? We were a little hard on each other, and poor Dave was smack dab in the middle of it, getting it from both sides as he had been for the last 35 years. I felt terrible and immediately apologized to Bob. But he was surprisingly quiet. I hadn’t heard from him for a few days, which was a long time not to have heard from Bob.
Finally, on my birthday, Bob started texting me like crazy, asking if I’d read his post about me on Instagram. Truthfully, I was a tad over Bob at the moment, but I figured I needed to read it so he’d stop bugging me. This was his post:
To say we are like brothers is an understatement. We have been through so much together for 35 years. High, lows — the usual you go through with your closest of people in your life. But what I have to say here is how damned lucky I am to have John in my life. He has always been there for me, even when I could be unbearable. There is only one @johnstamos on this planet, and I am a better person because he’s in my life. Happy Birthday, Dear John.
I may just read that every day for the rest of my life.
As legend goes, Bob and I didn’t really get along when we started “Full House.” We certainly had different styles of acting and how we approached each scene. His: cracking slightly inappropriate jokes that would routinely land him in little “meetings” with the mothers. But at the same time, he started to display what a brilliant comedic mind he had. Mine: obsessing over every moment and searching for truth, deeper understanding, self-analysis and personal reflection in each and every hug. (Dave just passed gas a lot.) It didn’t take long for us to meet in the middle and to respect each other professionally and creatively as the years went by.
When we started “Full House,” I was in my 20s and didn’t have a care in the world. Hell, my backyard was Disneyland. But life does what it does, and when things came crashing down, the last person on Earth I ever imagined would be my rock became just that. When I lost my parents, Bob was there for me like no other. He told dirty jokes and talked about himself as he hosted my dad’s funeral. He was there through divorces, deaths, despair and dark days. He was there through love, marriage, a child and bright times. He was my lifeline.
He loved hard and deep. (Cue Bob to make a joke out of “hard and deep.”) He would do that during tragedies and honestly, it would piss me off sometimes. That’s how he got through the darkness, and sadly he had a lot of it in his life. Now that I’m dealing with him dying, I sort of get it.
Bob loved with everything he had. He taught me to be present with the ones I love. I hope he learned to internalize the love I felt for him.
My wife Caitlin, who’s been extraordinary through all this, my son Billy, and everyone in my life will benefit from Bob’s gift to me every day. Billy will grow up with that depth of love for the rest of his life.
On the day of Bob’s death, Billy was staring at a picture of Bob and I dressed like women for a shoot for People magazine, replicating Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon from “Some Like It Hot.”
He was squinting his eyes and cocking his head, trying to make sense out of the picture. After a long time, he said, “Dad, who is that?” And I said that’s your dad and your Uncle Bob in women’s clothing. And he said, “Why?”
“Well, son, I did it as a tribute to the film … I can’t speak for Bob.”
I pray that Billy will someday have a friend like I had in Bob — and if I see a picture of the two of them in tutus, I’ll know it’s brotherly love.
I grabbed Billy, held on to him as tight as I could and told him how much I loved him. We don’t do justice to Bob’s legacy without remembering to hold those we love as close as we can and telling them what we feel about them every day.
Bob put it all on the table for us — leaving nothing behind.
When the news broke, I broke. I was shattered and felt worthless to help anyone else. But my supportive wife picked me up, threw me in the car and drove to Bob and Kelly’s house. That’s what Bob would have done if it were the other way around. I slipped into the backyard by myself. His last cigar was sitting in an ashtray by the jacuzzi. It was windy and balmy. I looked up to the sky and said, “Baby, please give me a sign from up there.” (I called him Baby because that’s how he entered his info into my phone years ago.) “Tell me you’re alright. Tell me not to feel bad.” I waited a few minutes. Nothing. Asked again. Silence.
I was contemplating heaven, hell and heartbreak when all of a sudden a tiny hummingbird came fluttering down from above and landed on a tree right in front of me. (I swear this is true. I even took a little video with my phone.)
I’ve always felt hummingbirds represented my parents, and this one was definitely my mother, who had red hair: She had bright red feathers around her neck like a scarf.
She assured me Bob was OK and to stop looking for goofy signs. (How rude!) Then she flew up and away. I want signs from Bob, damn it! I want to be haunted by him! The void is maddening!
Then this thought washed over me: Maybe, just maybe, his soul might be at peace? The only reason to rattle the thunder and part the clouds is that you are restless in the afterlife, right? That you have unfinished business and haven’t said what you needed to say to the ones you love. We all know that’s not Bob.
Maybe I need to stop looking for Bob in the sky and accept that he’s just where he needs to be, peaceful, free, surrounded by the hummingbirds of past souls at rest.
I don’t need Bob in some other realm. He’s in the lessons I teach my son and the hilarious dirty stories that my wife and I will laugh at for the rest of our lives. Hell, I can Google him to life and hear him any time, night or day. And now I can pause or fast forward him, which would have been incredible a few times while he was alive.
I’ve spent days refusing to let him go. But now I’m starting to realize I don’t have to. I don’t have to say goodbye because he’s never leaving my heart. And I will continue to talk to him every day and let him know what he means to me.
Bob, I will never, ever have another friend like you. You will always be my best friend. You are my new guardian angel — a guardian angel with the dirtiest mouth and a heart as big and benevolent as forever.
I love you, Baby.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.