That’s a quote from Gabriel García Márquez. It seemed appropriate today, as I learn of yet another colleague gone too soon.
I’m nearly 58 years old, and it’s not unusual for my friends’ parents to pass away. Just this past week, the father of a high school friend died. I’ve attended plenty of wakes and funerals for men and women in their 80s and 90s. I try to prepare for the day that my father-in-law, now 84 and tethered to an oxygen tank, passes.
But when it’s a contemporary…well, it’s sobering. Difficult. Sometimes tragic. Steve never smoked a cigarette and died of lung cancer. Lucy’s husband killed her and then hanged himself. Danny had but three months from his cancer diagnosis to his death. Sue, Tom, Steve, Jack, Tim, Elaine, Kathy, Susan, Ellen, Sally, Lili. And now Jeff.
Working for Hope Hospice, I’m not immune to death. In the two years I’ve been there, I can’t tell you how many familiar names I’ve seen on paperwork. Death is inevitable, of course. We hope that it comes when we’re ready, but does it? Nothing is promised to you in this life…except that, one day, it will end. Rest in eternal peace, Jeff.