I lost a good friend last week. Cancer. Fabulous guy. When he left, there was only a massive vacuum, an unfathomable hole in mine and many lives. He will be hugely missed (by hundreds, maybe thousands).
I won’t write too much more about it. Kinda feels like I am just sharing the news but he was so much more than just a news item. I do not want to diminish his loss in any way – even by writing in a blog about him.
But most of you never met him, anyway. And he wouldn’t mind. He rarely commented on the blog (occasionally…always anonymously…but never unrecognized) and that’s because we saw each other every week. Grumpy, old, septuagenarians do not, I think, have best friends – as in a ‘BFF’ kinda way. We are lucky to have any friends at all so we love ’em all equally. But, if I classified my friends that way, he’d be at the top. Still is, actually. This guy was always happy to see me and he always shouted a happy greeting. That’s a wonderful way to feel accepted and loved (every time!). Always made me smile. The memory of it still does.
I am writing now, a week plus since he passed, because I kinda have to…..the only thoughts I have had this week have been about him and, well, a lot of wood that needed moving…..the two thoughts, of course, are not directly related but, to be honest, just doing some heavy, bull work with more logs helped take my mind off it. I guess I am either going to miss him a lot or get a lot of work done. Life, eh?
I do have a little something to say….I have another friend in hospital (critical), another showing some bad signs (serious). And we also lost a family member (in-law) two weeks ago. Mortality has made itself too-much known lately.
I am not generally morbid by nature but you can understand if I seem a little oriented that way right now. Nothing like losing those you love to remind you of their gift, your own vulnerability and, of course, the inevitability of it all. And, if loss doesn’t do it, aging will. Every year is a renewal of reminders by way of aches and pains and the like. I may not go gentle into that good night, I may even rage, rage, rage against the dying of the light but, regardless of my departure style, depart I will.
But not too soon, I hope. I mean, there is always the danger of the next power tool taking a bite, the next big log asserting it’s weight, an errant propeller or even your basic everyday drowning opportunity but other than competing for a Darwin award, I am still chugging along fairly well. I am a septuagenarian looking ahead to my 80’s (I will not be looking much further ahead until I get there). I am more than lucky, I am blessed. I am triply blessed because Sal is good, too (she is easily worth two of me – thus the math that gets ‘triply’).
“I live in heaven with an angel.”
I’d like it to stay that way.
Again JD you speak of similarities that We share. An act of Life, Death, swims around us as would a hungry shark. We have recently been touched by it, Death, that shook Us. Fortunately, it was not Us. And We live in similar Heavens, with seemingly similar Angels. Slainté! May We both hold on to these very fine lives, until We are well and ready to let go. After having drank it up, EVERY drop. 😉🥰
And therein lies the rub, as they say……we speak of similarities….we will all speak of those similarities until they are spoken about us.
You got me sobbing on that one.
Thanks, Nick. I think a tear or two is about the only real response possible in these situations.
Unfortunately as we age more and more of our friends and acquaintances are checking out before us.
More and more the past few years.
Spoke with my step dad on a weekly call a few months back and signed off with a “Talk to you next week” … Gone a few days later in his sleep…
I hoisted a expensive glass of scotch in his honor with my brother and sister and a few other relatives that night.
Texted each other photos of our full and then empty glasses.
A covid morbid salute.
I know some miserable SOB’s that no one( including their family) shed a tear over when they dropped and then there are the ones that when they pass from a terminal disease it still comes as a shock.
You hope maybe THEY will be that one in ten million that pulls through.
The crappy part of growing old and being healthy.
Keep busy, cutting, splitting and stacking….gets your mind off things for a few hours.
Yeah. A little sweat, a few splinters and the odd log dropping on your foot keeps your attention for a time. Bleeding keeps you busy. I will adjust to ‘normal’ soon enough. But some things will forever be changed. And some people can’t be replaced. He was one.
Well, where it applies, I wish that you all had said all that you would wish to, to those departured, so that there is at least THAT comfort to help fill the void They left in you, when They left. For Us, it was not quite as much how close We were, but who they were and how they left. For me it was some weeks before I felt ‘normal’ again, and it was an eye opening, and shocking display of how quickly it can all come crashing down. I wish you all well.
Thanks, David. I will be fine. So will Sal. Death is part of life. We are grown-ups. We can cope. Having said that, some things make it better. My friend knew about his imminent demise and did all that he had to do beforehand. Even to the extent that he was ‘assisted’ by a doctor in the end. That is a huge comfort. He was in control of his own exit. It may sound awful but I have often thought of the deceased in a ‘victim’ context. But my father said, “Enough is enough.” and took his own oxygen mask off. Gone 30 seconds later. That was pretty powerful. Huge respect. And so it was for my friend. He had medically assisted help but it is the same thing – “Enough was enough” and he had places to go. Easier to say ‘Goodbye.”
Dave, What a lovely tribute to your dear friend. It had me in tears. Condolences to you and Sal. Mortality seems so close, when it takes such a colossus.
Twilight and evening bell, And after that the dark! And may there be no sadness of farewell, When I embark; For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place, The flood may bear me far …
Dave, I’ve had a drop in the number of my Canadian readers. Some, I feel, may have found me through your site. One reader used to offer me words of wisdom, a poem, a song. I haven’t heard from that person for some time now. It is a relationship I sorely miss.
Take care, Dave. Don’t chop your leg off.