Tag: death

The Loss of a Friend

People I care about are leaving this world. I want to honor them with the life I live. I’m not talking about being a good person or doing a lot of charity work or taking on causes or achieving anything at all. I’m talking about incorporating into my life what I loved in theirs. It is amazing how many times death has implanted motivation...

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Accepting Salutes

Always, in the past, I would call my daddy on Veteran’s Day. I called him on Memorial Day. I called, every once in a while, on December 7th when Pearl Harbor was bombed. I called to tell him thank you for a service that happened before I was born. Before I ever knew he would come into my life. Before . . . * He was only nineteen years old,...

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A Dying Man Walks into a Bar . . .

When I look back on my daddy’s passing from this earth, I see the deeply funny moments – like when my sister suggested we offer Daddy the comfort of his beloved Episcopal liturgy. It was a brilliant idea: we would recite the words he’d heard every Sunday of his life since approximately 1971. How soothing to hear the well-known phrases,...

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Not Feeling Smiling or Friendly

Exiting the Office Depot, I saw a sign: “Now Hiring Smiling, Friendly People.” I wondered if I would pass the “Smiling, Friendly” test. I debated this on my way to the car. Talking out loud, to myself. “You flunk!” my examiner shouted. “Smiling, friendly people don’t talk to themselves. They have...

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Substitution Will Not Work

Recently, I have had two distinctive events in my life: the death of my dad and the birth of my second grand baby. These events are distinctive in the sense of momentous and thus distinguished from my otherwise normal life. They are also distinctive in the sense of distinct: they have nothing to do with one another. In their comments to me, folks...

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Life is Tough All Over

You can talk all you want about how “sweet” my daddy was. And he was sweet, particularly at the end of his life when he tromped through the brambles of dying without letting erupt anger, complaint, or self-pity. In fact, he did the opposite, insisting always that he was doing great, feeling great, just glad as all get-out to be here. But...

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Death Enters the Story

I just finished mapping out the last fifty pages of the new Katrina novel, Jazzy. I don’t begin writing with an outline; I begin with a character and a situation. As I write, I jot down a bare-bones outline of what I think is coming next. Often this turns out to be untrue. Sometimes I go back and outline what I’ve written, to see...

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Are You Still With Me?

When I was three years old, my daddy died. That’s quite a sad thing to happen, losing  one’s father at such a young age, particularly when he was so young himself. Worse, he died suddenly, violently. His car was hit by a train, at a crossing that had a red light, but no warning arm to descend protectively across the track. He likely didn’t see...

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