Unexpected Losses

It isn’t that we were actual friends. More like pleasant acquaintances. I know of her but hadn’t talked to her until she began following my writing. At that point, we had a few email conversations about some of the subjects that I had written about.

One of those subjects was Ireland. It made her think about her trips to Norway, where she visited relatives.

I love Ireland. She loved Norway.

The last time I saw my friendly acquaintance, was just prior to our moving south. I saw her in a local carryout. I was buying scratch off lottery tickets pats and she had just purchased cigarettes.

We chatted for a few minutes. I told her we were moving. She mentioned that she and her husband had moved into a little schoolhouse type building. She mentioned that her son had bought their big house on the lake.

It was a peasant chat. Friendly acquaintances. A pleasant sort of relationship.

One of my sons knew her husband. I think that they were friendly acquaintances, too. One day, maybe a year or so ago, I received an email from my son, saying the husband of my friendly acquaintance, had died.

I didn’t know him, but I felt badly for his wife.

Remember when Robin Williams died? That hit me. I didn’t know him, but I grieved. The same with Anthony Bourdain. I recall, crying, when Nick told me what had happened. Nick asked why I was crying, and all I could say was that I was just very sad. I was going to miss him.

Maybe it is my age, or how the world is or just the way my mind works, but when I hear about certain deaths, though I might now have known the person, feel like a bit of a punch in the gut. My equilibrium takes a hit, and I grieve.

I have a friend that I have had for probably 35 or 36 years. Long time. Good friend.

The other day I called her. We chatted and caught up on what her kids were doing and how my kids are. We talked politics and laughed and about my old neighbors and that the people who bought our old house, which is next to hers, are taking good care of my cottage garden.

She asked me if I knew a certain person. This person was my friendly acquaintance. I said, yes, I know her.

“She died last week.,” she said.

My gut immediately hurt. She was only 67.

I can make 67 sound young or old. It depends on how I am looking at it. For death, it is young.

My friend told me the circumstances for the woamn’s death, which unsettled me even more. Fire, burns … suspected to be caused by smoking.

My mind flashed back to our chat at the carryout. She and her husband had a lake house and were planning on spending more time there. Her obituary mentioned that she and her husband began dating at 16.

Now, 3 years later, they both are gone. Their 3 adult children have lost their parents and their children have lost their grandparents.

And though I didn’t know either, well, they are in my craw.

Futures. Plans. Pasts. Unexpected Losses.

I think I will sit and watch some birds for a fe minutes.


10 thoughts on “Unexpected Losses

  1. Opened up fb this morning at 5 am and the first thing I saw was a posting from an old Navy buddy of my husband. His wife died last night. Jim had just reconnected with him a few years ago. Art was there for my husband when his ex-wife and son were killed in a plane crash. Art was also best man at our wedding.

    1. Oh boy. I am sorry to hear that. I am sure that resonated when you read my post. We all dread that phone call or email or message from a friend. But it is part of life, isn’t it? The unnerving and sad part of life. Thank you for writing.

  2. Whether a well liked acquaintance or a dear friend, I mourn each passing, hoping the life each led was the chosen “path.”

  3. Death is always hard to process. We all have unfinished business, things we want to do. I found a quilting book the other day, and there was a note attached from my Mom. She said that she hoped that we could make a quilt together. It never happened. I guess other things took priority. I think she would be happy to know that I did recently start sewing again. I have a 7 month old granddaughter and that renewed my urge to sew. I think Mom would be happy to know that!

    1. It is amazing how many of us have similar experiences and thoughts about our deceased mothers. For everything … there is a season. I sing that more and more. Thank you you for writing. Susan

  4. It was probably 10 years ago, before we moved south, that a mom with her newborn baby in a Snugli on her chest was out walking with her toddler when they stepped off a curb to cross the street and were hit by a car turning right at the intersection. The mom died, but the children survived. I didn’t know her, but for some reason, I was profoundly affected by her death, and to this day, I think of her every time I make a right turn at a stop sign. I can’t explain why I can’t let it go, it’s such a sad memory. Maybe we put ourselves in other people’s lives; how many of us have been out walking with our babies, or lost a husband? Life is so fragile.

    1. I understand. I have done the same thing. Who knows what keeps certain things in our heads and hearts, while other things slip away? Thank you for your contribution. Susan

  5. 67 is an interesting age for me!
    Dreading it but looking forward to it.
    If that can be done.
    7 years away. Seeing how I am 59.9 years old.
    1972: my grandfather passed away. He was 67. My dad was 40.
    1999: my dad passed away. He was 67. And I was 40.
    2025: I will be 67. And our oldest son will be 40.
    Stay tuned.
    Time is going to tell.

    1. Good gander. That is a tradition that you don’t want to follow. My mom was 72. I am 66. That number doesn’t escape my attention. It is like playing hopscotch. So glad you found me.

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