Common Threads – Life and Death

I’ve been a poor blogger in 2016 so far – please forgive me. These past five weeks have been challenging on diverse levels, and winter fatigue is real. Perhaps I’ve simply become less tolerant of ice and snow….

Dan Connor 1958-2016

Dan Connor 1958-2016

Back in October, I received a message from a college friend (thank goodness – sometimes! – for social media, as it’s allowed me to reconnect, with purpose, to so many friends and colleagues) that her twin brother, also a Providence College graduate, had been diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer.  I knew Eileen well in school, but her brother Dan and I traveled in different circles. Still. We’re 57, which most days still feels more like 37. Or 27. Certainly too young to die.

Dan had about three months from his diagnosis. He passed away on the first day of February, surrounded by his loved ones and the good people at Home and Hospice Care of Rhode Island. His wake was last Friday, at the end of yet another snowstorm here, but when my husband and I exited the funeral home, the sky had turned a brilliant blue, and the sun, low in the western sky, lit the clouds on fire. Danny was home, in God’s loving arms.

So even though I wasn’t close to Dan, I felt a bond with his sister, and learned that his partner for the past twelve years, his fiancee, was a girl I knew in high school. Laurie and Dan had a special love, one that sometimes comes later in life.

We meet people every day, and sometimes we reconnect after years apart. I believe there’s always a purpose, a meaning, in these connections. Maybe we’re unable to grasp that meaning at the time. Accept it as an opportunity to give love where needed.

Wishing peace and comfort to all of Dan’s family.



Thank you for sharing this, Martha. Your wonderful gift; given from your heart to the page, offers love and meaning while we mourn for Dan. This comfort is gratefully accepted.
love, Laurie

So beautifully written Martha. I hope you don’t mind I shared with the PC Class of ’81 Facebook Group. Danny was such a great guy with a smile on his face all of the time. He was on the board of Governor’s with me. In fact he is on our Class of ’81 home page….May he rest in peace. Thank you.

Amen. There is something in the universe working to bring those whom we have ‘miss-placed’ back to us. Amen.

Beautifully written Martha, thank you ! Tom

A poignant post, Martha. Sincere and beautifully written. I absolutely share your belief that there is a purpose, a reason for the people we meet and those we reconnect with.

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