Oh death, where is thy sting?

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Oh death, where is thy sting?

Post by Res Ipsa »

I think I’ve gotten a pretty good handle on the second question of the familiar couplet — the part about graves and victories. Like the house at a casino, the grave always wins. And if humans ever figure out how to beat the house, it will be long after the final score in Grave v. Res Ipsa has been forgotten. And I think I’m okay with that.

But I don’t think I have any sort of handle at all on that first question. I mean, literally I know at least one place where the sting is located — it’s been in my gut for about a month. The part I don’t have a handle on is why.

The sting took up residence in my gut early last month. I opened up my Facebook page to catch up with friends and family and the first entry announced the death of Ms. Ipsa’s best friend. They had been best friends since Jr. High school in England. At some point “B” was diagnosed with a degenerative spinal condition with a dismal prognosis. But B seemed to seemed to ignore the dismal part and proceeded to run up a huge early lead in B v. Grave.

Ms. Ipsa was an Air Force brat born in Waco Texas, and her family eventually returned to the U.S., while B stayed in England. Though they saw each other infrequently, they stayed close. Our two children called her Auntie B. When she would send Christmas crackers or other small treats at Christmas Time, they would chant “Yay Auntie B” Over and over.

Early in our marriage, B came to visit twice. She was a truly delightful person. We threw her collapsable wheelchair in the trunk and toured everywhere. I remember driving up Mt. Eirie in Skagit County — more of a rocky spire that the glaciers somehow forgot to flatten long ago. She loved the view.

When she tired, we’d hang around the house and drink tea. She had a dry wit that I could listen to forever. And, in fact, listen is what I mostly did. Listening to the two of them talk was sheer joy: The person I loved most in the world talking and reminiscing with one of the people she loved most in the world. Their combined laughter was almost musical.

So there, starting up at me from the screen of my phone, was a post by B’s father announcing her death. And no matter how I squinted at it, blinked my eyes, or glanced away and back, the post refused to go away. Then I looked up at Ms. Ipsa sitting three feet away, happily ensconced in a novel. No clue of how her world was about to change. So, yeah, sting. Big sting. Big as in a boot shaped stinger kicking me square in the gut.

The worst moments of my life have all involved telling someone that I loved that someone they loved had died. Picking up my father on a cold, snowy day at the Salt Lake Airport and telling him that his daughter had died of cancer while he was flying from Thailand to see her one last time. Calling my father-in law who was vacationing in Hawaii to tell him that his youngest son had been found dead in his apartment, followed by driving to the school where Ms. Ipsa teaches to tell her that her brother was gone.

And now telling the person I loved most that her lifelong friend was was gone.

Yeah, I knew exactly where death’s sting was that day: in my living room, in a house in England, and in other homes scattered across the world, all who interacted with B in thousands of different ways, for millions of different reasons, and for varying periods of time. The Facebook comments in response to the announcement were a monument to death’s sting.

And, although my entire experience of B was two weeks of visits and occasional exchanges on Facebook, the sting took me by surprise. It really hurt.

Little did I know that death was about to give me a small tutorial in stings. Perhaps to prepare me for other deaths — deaths that are not that far in the future.

Next: Death of a Nemesis.
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When a Religion is good, I conceive that it will support itself; and when it cannot support itself, and God does not take care to support, so that its Professors are oblig’d to call for the help of the Civil Power, ’tis a Sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.

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Re: Oh death, where is thy sting?

Post by Dr. Shades »

Thank you for sharing this, Res. Very touching.
Next: Death of a Nemesis.
The best kind of death. I look forward to it.
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Re: Oh death, where is thy sting?

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Interlude: Should I Stay or Should I Go:

My family is not known for its communications skills. I am head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to not telling people things. So, I broke my usual pattern and started calling. Mom is a no. She attended my nephew's super spreader wedding in December; Covid knocked her out of commission for six weeks, and she's just started feeling back to normal. My brother B (8 years younger) is a no -- planned vacation and pre-vacation work surge. My brother J (over 40 years younger is a yes, contingent on timing). I'm dithering.

Dad promised to give me the details. But he's 87 and is tied with me when it comes to remembering to tell people things. So, it's Day 1 of a new daily ritual: check the Facebook to see what the cousins have posted. If nothing, Google. If nothing, check again later. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Nothing and nothing.
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When a Religion is good, I conceive that it will support itself; and when it cannot support itself, and God does not take care to support, so that its Professors are oblig’d to call for the help of the Civil Power, ’tis a Sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.

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Re: Oh death, where is thy sting?

Post by Res Ipsa »

I like the idea of having a personal, professional, lawyer nemesis. It makes what I do feel much more exciting. Not exactly superhero exciting. But a definite improvement over the the drudge work that comprises most of what I do.

The truth is more prosaic. Yes, you could describe R as my nemesis. And over the last 35 years or so I've thought of him that way from time to time. The part that's missing is the word "personal." You see, R has been the nemesis of many insurance professionals and the lawyers that represent them and their companies for a long time. You can translate that as "extremely good at what he does."

I think there are two lawyers in my geographic and practice area that are tied for first place when it comes to sheer intelligencer: R is one. (Neither has the last name "Ipsa.") R graduated from law school six or seven years ahead of me. He grew up, lawyer wise, in a construction litigation firm. Back in the day, contractors were tough and they wanted tough lawyers. There was a well-known story back in the day about one of the founders of R's firm vaulting over the table to throw a punch at one of the founders of the firm I grew up in during a deposition. Construction litigation had a well-earned reputation for being rough and tumble.

R didn't really fit the stereotype of bare-knuckled, swaggering construction lawyer. He was more of a thinker than a puncher. So he thought himself into a unique niche in his construction litigation firm. He recognized early on that winning a case is only half the battle; collecting the damage award is the other half. R realized that easiest way to collect on a judgment isn't to hunt down bank accounts or seize and sell construction equipment -- the easiest route to the money is almost always an insurance policy. And, in construction, everyone has insurance.

So R studied how to read and understand insurance policies. He learned how the language of insurance policies could be stretched to cover damages in ways that weren't obvious. He studied the kinds of insurance policies owners, developers and contractors should have on a given construction project. He studied how insurance adjusters and their supervisors thought about and resolved insurance claims.

So, when the litigators in R's firm evaluated for a client whether the client should file a lawsuit, R evaluated the insurance. The client got a litigation plan and an insurance coverage plan. It sounds trivial: before you start, figure out where you want to end. In fact, personal injury lawyers had included the availability of insurance proceeds into account from the beginning for years and years. But this kind of advance look at insurance wasn't as common in firms that specialized in commercial litigation, where the insurance programs in place could be extremely complex.

R also excelled at the art of giving an insurance company enough rope. Some lawyers who represent policyholders fight the insurance company tooth and nail over every issue, including providing insurers with the basic information they need to evaluate how much they owe on a claim. Not R. R would happily bury insurance companies with information. He would offer to meet with adjusters and lawyers to conduct what he called a "101" session to explain what a complex lawsuit was all about so they could get up to speed on a claim. (I've attended several but have yet to be awarded any sort of degree.)

At the same time, he would provide constant pressure on the company to process the claim in strict compliance with all the claim handling regulations that applied. If they failed to comply, a complaint to the insurance commissioner or a lawsuit would soon follow.

In some cases, adjusters who had previous experience with R or knew of his reputation, became distracted by him personally at the expense of making sure the claim handling was squeaky clean. When the adjuster that had sent over the file for review said something like "we're not afraid of R" or "we're going to teach R....", I knew the file would be a tough one.

As a result, by the time one of R's claims landed on my desk, the client had already make a couple of mistakes that R was exploiting to the fullest in an attempt to pressure the company into paying more than they actually owed under the contract. When one came in, I already knew that R was in the midst of executing a well thought out plan, that I was almost certainly starting out in a hole, and that I would have to bring my A game just to keep the claim from going from bad to worse, let alone get it back on track.

Still, even superstar lawyers aren't perfect. If I know that R has some kind of detailed plan, then figuring out as much detail about that plan as possible will reveal the weak spots in the plan. And R loved to talk. There were no "short calls" with R. And 90% of any call would be R telling you stuff. If you just listened and let him talk, you'd be able to understand his plan and where he saw the case in terms of it. HIs plan was rarely a "secret plan." He might keep a couple of cards hidden, but that was generally it. All you had to do was be willing and think about how all those phone calls fit together. Sometimes his plans were a little too cute or overly complicated. There were always weaknesses that helped in developing my own plan.

Handling claims in which R was involved taught me a couple of things. R commonly developed his own specialized terms for interpretation of cases or how how insurance law worked in general. So, whether in a conversation or a meeting, he would almost always throw out a term like "the XXX Rule" or "the Principle of XXX" that I had never heard of. In my younger days, my natural reaction was to nod along because I didn't want to look stupid. I then started asking other lawyers who attended meetings conducted by R what he talking about. The answer I generally got was something like "hell if I know." It finally dawned on me that none of the lawyers in these meetings knew what he meant but were keeping quiet to avoid looking stupid.

So, I became the guy that asked dumb questions. When R used one of these oddball references, I'd say something like "Hey, R, you know I'm terrible at case names [which is true], would you remind me what that is? Or "R, I don't know what you mean by that." And he would sigh, or give an exasperated shrug, and explain it to me like I was a noob at insurance. But that was all kabuki. Knowing exactly what R was talking (and more importantly, thinking) about was well worth appearing to be the thickest lawyer in the room. As a side lesson, I learned the value of letting other lawyers underestimate me.

The second lesson was much more painful. R delivered me the worst ass kicking of my career in a big case involving the Triple Crown Winning race horse Seattle Slew. It was a very complicated legal malpractice case brought by Seattle Slew's owner's against their lawyers. The lawyers filed counterclaims, including one for defamation based on public statements one of the owners made about the lawyers. I represented one of the owners' insurers on a policy that included coverage for defamation. Without going into any details, this claim was as filled with landmines as any I've been involved in. My primary goal was to prevent my client from stepping on a landmine and ending up having to pay more than its policy limit.

I failed, and the client was sued. I was called as a witness, but could not testify much about what had happened, as the client did not waive attorney-client privilege. The client was very lucky, as the damages awarded by the jury were much lower than they could have been.

Sometime after, R and I were having one of those long conversations on a different case. Somehow we got to talking about the Seattle Slew case. He mentioned that the owners had given him a gift after the litigation was finally done. It was a painting or photograph of two race horses heading down the stretch for the finish line. One of the two was staring at the finish. The other's attention was entirely on the other horse. In fact, it was biting the crap out of the first horse.

R had jokingly asked his clients which of the horses was most like him. One of the owners answered right away: the horse focused on the finish line. That's you -- no matter what any of the other lawyers are doing, you are focused on the finish line.

I've never forgotten that. Lots of claims and lawsuits in which R has been involved have gotten pretty ugly and more than a little bit personal. But I had to agree with his client's explanation of the picture: no matter the situation, R seemed to be focussed on getting to the finish line. Sometimes the way he was trying to get there seemed a little bit too clever or unnecessarily convoluted. But, if one stepped out of the fray and looked, his eyes were always looking at the most important thing.

My last case with R is still ongoing. It's a complex case with lots of parties. R had been aggressive, resulting in the filing of two different lawsuits between his clients and ours. A few months ago, R proposed an interim settlement that would not require his client to litigate against ours until some future time, if ever. I was given the task of drafting the implementing docs and working out any changes with R. I had been slowed down by the terrible smoke season we had this year, and had let R know the reason for the delay. When we'd agreed on final changes, he called. After chatting about the docs for a couple minutes, he said that he should tell me about his own health situation. I had known that he'd been out sick recently but no details.

It was cancer. Bad cancer. Trying to get into an experimental trial bad cancer. The pain had become so intense that he had to use prescription pain meds that interfered with his ability to work. He was resigning from the firm and from practice. He said he'd come to grips with what he was facing and that he felt okay with it. That's certainly how he sounded.

After I said the kinds of things one says when learning this kind of news, he asked me for a favor: current contact information for my former partner. After we had ended our partnership, she had developed a mediation practice. I knew that she had mediated several of his cases and he was very appreciative of the work she had done. It was clear that he wanted to contact to her to say good bye.

That was where I felt the sting. Somehow that made everything he'd told me real. He and I weren't friends. We never had a drink or went to lunch or socialized in any way. We'd had a mostly good professional relationship -- period. But still -- the sting. I would have never expected to feel the sting -- let alone how much it hurt.

True confession: I don't think he's passed yet. I'm pretty sure I would hear, and I've Googled for obits a couple of times. But I doubt it will sting when the news finally comes. To me, it feels like he died when I hung up from our last phone call.

Next: Death of a Boardgaming Buddy
he/him
When a Religion is good, I conceive that it will support itself; and when it cannot support itself, and God does not take care to support, so that its Professors are oblig’d to call for the help of the Civil Power, ’tis a Sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.

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Re: Oh death, where is thy sting?

Post by Hawkeye »

Even from an atheist perspective death would be just going to sleep and never waking up. That's not that bad. I could think of many situations in which life is worse than that.

To fear death is nothing other than to think oneself wise when one is not; for it is to think one knows what one does not know. No man knows whether death may not even turn out to be the greatest blessing for a human being; and yet people fear it as if they knew for certain that is is the greatest of evil.

Socrates
The best part about this is waiting four years to see how all the crazy apocalyptic predictions made by the fear mongering idiots in Right Wing media turned out to be painfully wrong...Gasoline would hit $10/gallon. Hyperinflation would ensue.
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Re: Oh death, where is thy sting?

Post by Physics Guy »

On the other hand, though, even if we will all share a wonderful afterlife, we lose contact with dead people until we ourselves join them. Even if we knew for sure that the parting were temporary, it could be long. And if death is only that the people we knew have gone to another place where we will also go soon, and see them again, it's not like a modern voyage that lets us still keep in touch with texts and video calls. There won't even be long-delayed letters.

Even if in the end it will all be fine, even if the parting itself somehow turns out to have served a well-worthwhile purpose, still the parting is hard. We can remember the departed, but their fresh input is gone. We won't hear them say anything new, won't see their reactions to anything new, unless and until we hear and see them again, beyond death.

Such a hope does make a difference. We don't know what, if anything, happens beyond death. To tell oneself that one does know can only be self-deception, I think. I don't see anything irrational, though, about deciding to focus on the better possibilities and think about them the most. Hope is allowed.

Hope doesn't eliminate grief; it doesn't disrespect the departed by shirking the grieving they deserve. We would still grieve even if hope were certain, because the separation is hard, so we can grieve and still hope. Hoping that the dead are still alive in another world also means that when we remember them, we don't confine them to our memories of them, which won't change, but instead still expect them to surprise us as they did in life, growing and changing in time just as we do. That feels to me like a way of respecting the dead people more.

Whatever Jesus was, his recorded argument for an afterlife is interesting: that since God is not the God of the dead, but God of the living, the many scriptural invocations of "the God of Abraham," even after Abraham was long dead, must imply that Abraham lived on after death. It's a rabbinical, legal argument, and as far as I can tell the crucial assumption that God is "God of the living" is just something Jesus asserted, not something that even all Jews agreed. So it's obviously not a proof of anything, but at least part of it seems to convince me: if there is a God, then what kind of God would put up with death? If we feel so acutely that reality is diminished by someone's absence, a real God would feel that as well—and do something about it.

It's a coherent hypothesis. There's nothing wrong with entertaining it or even adopting it as a working hypothesis, in the absence of counter-evidence. Hope is allowed, and it helps.
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Re: Oh death, where is thy sting?

Post by Res Ipsa »

I don’t remember when it was that I first met J, but I’m sure it was at the game pub. He was a regular there, and I soon became a regular. He was in his mid to late 30s, quiet, and on the tall side.

When I started the Eldritch Horror bi-weekly meet up, he was one of the early regulars. He had a good head for rules, which was a big help to me, as it took a while for me to get to the point where I could stop checking the rule book a couple times a game.

He didn’t just know the rules — he understood the game. Like many good cooperative games, the game puts constant pressure on the players by giving them too much to do and not enough time. There is a constant tug of war between buffing your investigator up with bonuses, equipment, weapons and spells and throwing your unprepared character into a hopeless situation in the hope of forestalling immediate disaster. It’s not a strategic game — there is no overall best plan for winning. It’s pure tactics: squeezing the most out of every turn to both get stronger and to benefit the group.

J grasped the necessary balance from the start. It took most new players several games to learn how to win (or, rather, to increase the odds of winning — this was Lovecraftian Horror, after all.) And some never quite caught on, never willing to take the necessary risks with their investigators.

One semi-regular player was a frequent source of frustration for J. Some of our players choose the same investigator for every game, figuring out how to play to the character’s strengths. L was one of those players. She always chose the same investigator and had developed a strategy for buffing him into a monster fighting machine. Trouble was, the strategy needed at least several turns to fully implement. And unless the investigator had become strong, L would avoid risking him in a fight.

J & L were almost complete opposites, but were both opinionated about how the game should be played. While J thought L was avoiding taking actions that would benefit the group, L thought that she was helping the group win by developing a first-class monster killer. No 1920s style fisticuffs ever broke out, but there were a couple tense conversations.

The clash of personalities was resolved when the game pub shuffled its event schedule and asked us to change nights. J had a D&D game on the new night, and his first love was RPGs anyway.

We continued to see each other at the pub and chat from time to time. We played Dungeon Crawl Classics a few times, which was fun. When I joined a D&D group, it was run by the same guy that was running the game for J’s group. The DM always had a funny story or two to share about how the other group was doing. So, even though I wasn’t playing with J, I heard all about his exploits in whichever campaign the other group was playing.

In early December, a Discord message from the DM caught my eye. It said “I can’t believe J is gone.” The DM is an avid gamer that plays with lots of folks, so I asked which J. He confirmed that it was our mutual gaming buddy. He was found dead in his apartment by his landlord. Complications of diabetes.

I wasn’t able to attend his service. The DM told me later that he had been mostly estranged from his family. Those that attended knew very little about his current life, and were asking all sorts of questions of his gaming buddies about what his life had been like. Apparently, the folks he gamed with were his family. I had no idea.
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When a Religion is good, I conceive that it will support itself; and when it cannot support itself, and God does not take care to support, so that its Professors are oblig’d to call for the help of the Civil Power, ’tis a Sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.

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Re: Oh death, where is thy sting?

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Res Ipsa wrote:
Sun Jan 22, 2023 3:17 am
Apparently, the folks he gamed with were his family. I had no idea.
I guess we just never know the sort of impact we have on the lives of others. There's nothing to do but try to be as positive of an impact as possible.
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Re: Oh death, where is thy sting?

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Death of a Classmate and Friend.

My first memory of S is from eighth grade. I don't know what possessed the administration, but they decided a student talent show would be a great idea. And I don't know what possessed me to sign up, but I did.

I was a little kid with a high pitched voice. I think I was 4' 10' when I started high school the following year. My hands were so small that I couldn't play a guitar. But I could play a baritone ukulele, which is tuned exactly like the top four strings of a guitar. (Yes, ukulele's come in flavors...) And it just so happened that my Dad had purchased a baritone ukulele. I can't remember why. I can remember playing it. Lots.

So, it's show time and this little runt of a kid with a piping voice takes the shades and belts out "Good Morning, Starshine" from the musical Hair. If you don't know it, includes has the memorable lyrics:
Gliddy glub gloopy, nibby nabby noopy la, la, la, lo, lo
Sabba sibby sabba, nooby abba nabba, le, le, lo, lo
Tooby ooby walla, nooby abba naba
Early mornin' singin' song
Half of the middle school would attend the same high school as me. And NONE of them ever forgot that performance. Ever. If I had a nickel for every time a high school classmate greeted me by singing the first line of the song, I'd be Bill Gates.

Years of future razzing secured, I took a seat in the audience. The next guy came out of the wings in ... in.... a kilt! He was also wearing bagpipes and proceeded to play them. I have no idea whether he played them well -- at the time I knew nothing about bagpipes. I mostly thought it was pretty gutsy to come out on stage in a skirt and play a weird instrument.

That was S.

In a way, the talent show was weird foreshadowing. In college, I performed in a production of Hair, and learned that Good Morning, Starshine was not the happy go lucky tune it seemed to be. And S went on to be the Executive Director of the Celtic Arts Foundation, which sponsored the annual Highland Games in a nearby county.

Now, that's not to say we were anything alike. I was thin, short and was a member of the chess club. He was taller, more solidly built, and played football throughout high school. But we had one important thing in common -- we both liked to sing. I sang first tenor and he sang base. We were in choir together for all four years of high school -- in the last three, we sang both in the large concert choir and in a smaller "swing choir" that sung jazz and madrigals. (Weird combination, but fun.)

With the choir, we went on three concert tours in Mexico. I'd say we were casual friends -- I enjoyed hanging out and chatting with him. He was a good guy back then.

We went off to our respective colleges and my family moved to a different state. We didn't see each other again until our 10 year reunion. We said hi and swapped histories.

I didn't see S again for almost 20 years. At some point we found each other on Facebook and became Facebook friends. While I was working crazy hours as a young lawyer in a fairly big firm and then in a small partnership, S served two terms as Mayor in the large town he lived in. He then founded the Celtic Arts Foundation.

A few months before our 30th reunion, I was invited to be on the planning committee. I lived 80 miles from the town our high school was located in, so it seemed a little crazy. But the members of the committee were all people I liked, including S. The meetings were in a condo overlooking the water and we'd mix business and pleasure once a month. S lived a little more than half way to the meetings, so I started picking him up and carpooling with each other. That 30 minutes up and back to the meetings became one of the highlights of my month. We'd tell stories, fling a little BS, and solve the world's problems. It was wonderful to really get to know someone that I'd liked and admired in my younger years.

After the reunion, I started attending and helping with CAF functions. One of their fundraisers was a scotch tasting, which I attended several times. It was lots of fun and S and I would have a chance to catch up. One year when I waited too long to get a ticket, I joined the volunteer server crew and had a blast. I started going to the games in the summer, working at some and attending others. S, of course, was extremely busy. But when I tracked him down wherever he happened to be, he always took a few minutes to say hello and catch up.

Hands down, S was the most gregarious person I've ever known. He had a big smile and time for anyone he ran into. I've heard the difference between introverts and extroverts described as introverts being drained by being around other people, while extroverts are energized. S was incredibly energized by interacting with people. When I think of him, I often see him in a crowd of people shaking hands, giving hugs, and laughing. And it wasn't superficial or phony -- almost everyone he interacted with became a friend, and he really meant it.

Sometime in early December, I was reading Facebook and saw a picture of S with a shaved head and the caption "Uh Oh." A couple days later there was a picture of him holding a teddy bear and thanking the person that sent it to him. Looking at the background, it was clear he was in a hospital room. I sent him a little private message letting him know I'd seen his posts and was thinking of him.

He responded the next day. He'd been very fatigued after the games last summer, and the fatigue had gotten worse. It turned out he had leukemia. He was in the part of the treatment where the docs were killing off his bone marrow, which meant he was extremely immunosuppressed. He couldn't have any visitors -- for the next three months. He said that was the worst part for him -- being isolated from everyone.

I sent him another note, letting him know that I expected he was being deluged over the internet with thoughts and prayers from friends and family, and also letting him know that if he wanted to yakk about something other than hospitals and doctors and chemotherapy, he'd be welcome to give me a call and we'd go back to solving the world's problems even though the world ignored our solutions last time around.

A week later he was dead. His family announced his passing on Facebook because S had so many friends in so many circles they didn't know how to find them all. They will hold a memorial service at some time in the future, but they're going to have to do some planning. The number of attendees will resemble the Queen's funeral.

This wasn't a sting. This was like a horse kicking me in the gut. He was not in the dangerous part of his treatment -- that would come later when they tried to restore his immune system. His death was completely unexpected. And I wept knowing that the friend that had loved interacting with people of all kinds in all kinds of settings died alone in the hospital.

That night, I asked a friend to drive me to a local scotch bar to toast S. I'd introduced him to S at some point, but hadn't told him much about S. We drank a very nice scotch and I told stories about S. I read a short toast attributed to Robert Burns and we drank to mark his passing.

I kept his last message to me open on my computer screen for a couple of weeks. Somehow, if I could read a message from him and see his big beautiful bald head, it felt like he hadn't really gone.
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When a Religion is good, I conceive that it will support itself; and when it cannot support itself, and God does not take care to support, so that its Professors are oblig’d to call for the help of the Civil Power, ’tis a Sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.

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Re: Oh death, where is thy sting?

Post by Physics Guy »

S sounds like a man who should be remembered with a pibroch.

My grandfather had asked for Flowers of the Forest to be played at his funeral. A family friend's son played the pipes, and he travelled some distance to play for my grandfather, as if it were part of his calling. Flowers of the Forest is a haunting lament for lovely things gone. It isn't long but it sticks in my mind.
I was a teenager before it was cool.
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