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September 23, 2005

That's How It Happens

My neighbor died last night. A nice, older lady who bought Molly outfits and wore too much perfume, like old people do. For several weeks, she had been despairing over her own mother's funeral and was not her cheerful, friendly self, but she was feeling better. Her stepfather, a stooped character with a giant neck brace, found her, ice cream dribbling off her chin, bowl tipped over in her lap. Just sitting there in her living room.

And that's how it happens. No witty last words, no final dramatic scenes, no heroic sacrifice. Just a life lived, an evening with a snack, then darkness. Someone who loves you finds you, and enter the inevitable numbness, yearning, anger...

In reply to a question about what everybody wants, someone once said, "To be missed." I think, as an evaluation of a life lived, that's the best we can hope for, and, for my neighbor, true.

Posted by tat at September 23, 2005 08:37 PM

What a fine and beautiful epitaph.

Posted by: Suzanne Gentling at September 29, 2005 07:29 PM