Processing The Fact Of Your Death
But not particularly well
Connected life was proceeding at full throttle.
We left our little old dog Ginger with Jae and Blanc in western New York and flew off to the Gulf Coast of Florida for three weeks. She is in good hands.
Larry’s Ice Cream has a Nash Metropolitan out front. During an interchange with Arizonian Dave regarding the car, he expressed the opinion that three weeks would be just about enough time to thaw out from the single-digit NY temperatures. I hope he is right.
Floridian Dave and I have not seen each other since college. He arrived in his MG Midget on Thursday. At first and second glance, the car looked exactly like the one that resides in my garage in the Adirondacks. We enjoyed an afternoon of catching up.
We visited our friends Mike and Pat and their daughter Sarah on Friday. We paddled the crystal clear Weeki Wachee River with them and were treated to the pinnacle of the local culture at the Sun West Crab and Shrimp Fest. Afterward, it was great fun to tell stories in their lovely living room. My wife Mary said she even heard me tell a couple she had not heard before. The question is, “Did he tell novel stories, or is Mary’s memory failing?”
Cousins Jim, Ceil, and daughter Allie were visited on Saturday. It has been years. More stories, but this time, of the family variety. And even some previously unheard. But no similar question arose, since infrequent contact assures both novelty and failing memory.
Friends Jim and Robin arrived on Sunday to spend the week with us. It was not surprising that multiple stories were related after long walks on the beach.
Via email on Monday morning, Fred asked if I knew what had happened with Dan.
Kathy, best-connected of our classmates from long ago, had once again served as publicist for the reaper. The Facebook posting informed all that Dan had died.
“What? Sweet and gentle Dan is no more? What?” I had no idea he had health issues.
I searched the reader for Dan’s most recent communique. Standard Dan from one month ago. A posting of mine had prompted a rambling reminisce about homeownership and our lives 40 years ago. It was an upbeat note with no indication of failing health.
Russ also searched his emails and found that Dan had alerted us to his affliction with Pancreatic Cancer many months prior. It appears that my usual self-absorption caused me to forget. While I am disappointed in myself, I’m not particularly surprised. Know thyself.
More important, like my classmates who chimed in on Kathy’s post, I am saddened there will be no more rambles from Dan. Our interaction since high school had assumed the form of correspondence rich with reflection on our parallel passage through this thing called life. Though expected, further communications will not be arriving.
But tears have arrived in their place.
Perhaps the processing is improving.