I’m sad to report that death has touched three friends of mine this week:
- My colleague Heather found out shortly before she was due to fly out to San Diego that her ill father had not months to live but days. I am so grateful that she was able to change plans at the last minute and make it out to Ohio instead. I can only imagine how devastating it would have been for her not to have been able to say good-bye.
- I arrived home from San Diego to learn that our friend Sam had headed to Florida to say farewell to his grandmother, and last night we heard she had died. I was lucky to have been able to spend some time with Mac and Irv during my senior year of college and the years following, and always considered Mac to be my favorite grandmother not related to me. She was a feisty, loving woman, and everyone who had the privilege of knowing her will miss her.
- In some families, animals are a tier below their two-legged friends, but in others love is equal opportunity between humans and pets. Grey Kitten and his husband discovered their beloved cat had crossed the Rainbow Bridge last night after recently learning Duke had a heart condition. He was a lovely tuxedo cat with soft fur and lots of personality. He’d seemed to rally earlier this week when I was out visiting, but decided last night to curl up for a final nap and exit this world peacefully.
N.B. It would be unfair to equate the death of an animal member of the family with losing a parent or a grandparent, but it is also equally unfair to say that it doesn’t leave a hole in the hearts of those left behind. Love is love, after all, and we are always richer to have given and received it, regardless of the species or the relationship.
My sympathy goes out to Heather, Sam, and Grey Kitten. I wish them all the ability to recall happier memories in the dark days ahead.