Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Last words

On Wordcraft our dear Jerry has died. This is a great YouTube to remember him by (yikes! I've ended a sentence with a preposition!). What struck many of us is that this was his very last post, on April 3, 2009, with us:

"When my second wife was dying I overheard her saying to a helpful Hospice person, 'I'm dying.'

The reply, worthy of thought, 'All of us are.'"

Did he know, even though he hadn't been diagnosed yet?

Then there was Craig Arnold, a professor and poet from Wyoming, who also loved volcanoes. Indeed, he was hiking a volcano in a tiny island in Japan when he accidentally fell and was killed. His last Blog entry was on April 26th and included this comment:

"There is a rustle in the canes, and out comes a long lean tawny body, rippling squirrel-like over the sidewalk: a mongoose or a weasel. Clearly it is thinking about crossing the road, and a car is coming. You click your tongue at it, tsk-tsk, and it stops and gives you a look before ducking back into the brush. If nothing else you have saved a life today.

A life other than your own, that is. Danger has a way of cutting through melancholy, the real fear blinding you to the fear dimly imagined. If you could only always just have escaped death, you would never be sad again."

As a nurse I've seen so many patients live just until their daughter got married or make it just to their next birthday or to Christmas. I've always wondered about that. Clearly there is a mystery to death that we don't know about.

Good bye, Jerry. We know you are smiling upon us.

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