Maron Ended and My Dad Died, but Not in That Order

Three years ago today​, my family and friends gathered at my parent’s house to celebrate the life of my father Alan Staniforth, who had died the month before. Two weeks ago today, Marc Maron’s television show, Maron, aired its final episodes on IFC. If you are wondering how these two are related, I’m about to tell you.

Two weeks ago, on Monday morning, I started my morning commute as I do every morning​ with Marc Maron and his WTF podcast. A few minutes into episode #723, Marc started talking about the Maron season 4 finale.

Then he said it.

H​e said the thing that I have been dreading since the first episode of Maron aired.​ Marc announce​d that the season finale of Maron ​would ​also be the series finale because he was ​ending the show after four seasons.

​Marc went on to​ talk about how he could go on with the IFC show, but how he was ​happy with the story arc and how he believed that ​we, the fans, w​ould ​be happy with the ending ​too. He wanted ​to end the show on a strong note, not because of cancellation by the network​ or desperation on his part.

​I could not believe what I had heard. The news hit me hard. I actually called my husband to tell him the news. I know you might think that I am being dramatic or overreacting, but I am honestly very sad that Maron has ended.​ Maron was not only one of the best shows on television, but it was​ also my favorite show on television.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Marc Maron in all forms: podcaster, actor, comedian, and almost birthday twin (our birthdays are two days apart). But the TV show was a different animal. It was well-written, hilarious, painfully awkward at times, and also had some beautifully poignant moments as well. Maron became a respite for me during one of the most difficult times of my life.

But, Darcy, TV shows end and people move on. Plus, you will be able to watch all four seasons on Netflix.​ It’s not like Marc Maron died.

You’re right. Maron is alive and well as I write this. On Thursday there will be a new WTF and I will still be able to see him do stand-up comedy in front of both intimate and not-so-intimate audiences. But the television Maron was something different for me. ​Marc Maron didn’t die, but my dad did.​​

Maron, season one, episodeone, debuted on IFC on May 3, 2013. I had been looking forward to the show ever since Marc had announced that the show was coming to television. But what I had not realized until looking back now is that the show became my port in a storm while my father was dying.

​In 2011, my father Alan was diagnosed with COPD and ILD, two gnarly lung diseases which the pharmaceutical companies downplay when they advertise meds for these diseases on TV. For almost two years, my dad had been maintaining and his meds had been working, but in the spring of 2013 he began to take a turn. Just about a month before Maron premiered, my dad had decided to enter in-home hospice care because the end was coming.

So there I was facing one of the most horrific times during my life and this television show debuts; and I laugh, and I cringe, and throughout the season I sometimes even cry, but most of all for those 30 minutes I forget about the fact that my father is dying. It was the most perfect 30 minutes I could ask for during that time.

My father died peacefully at home on June 24th, 2013. His death came right before the season one finale. And so for the next three years, each spring, as my heart and mind started replaying the events of the spring and summer of 2013, Maron would return to IFC and I could leave my grief and my memories and just return to that safe space for 30 minutes each week.

So when Marc came on the air two weeks ago and said that Maron was ending, I had to look into myself and figure out why I was so upset. Yes I loved the show, but I realized that I was losing a show that had been my safe space and my relief during the worst time of year for the past three years.

I wanted to write this because it’s a testament to art. I’m not wanting to sound trite or cliche, but it’s important to express that a television show (that so many people worked on) can do more than just entertain. This is a testament that the art of a television show can help a person cope and heal and have some relief.

It’s been three years since my dad died, and of course I still miss my dad. It’s only been two weeks since the show ended and I still miss watching Maron. But I am so thankful to Marc and the entire group of people behind Maron for creating such a brilliant show.

And if you are wondering if I liked the ending, I did. I really did. In fact, I loved it. For me, it was perfect.

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Darcy Staniforth

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