Suddenly gone, but not forgotten.

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His smile was warm and his laugh infectious, he loved music, and movies and travel by train. When I met him in Chicago, he was my daughters close friend, a kind of opposite soul who relished his time with my daughter and his partner who would be his only other close friend. Death comes to us all, but for a man of 36 years old, death came too early. This afternoon at 4:40 pm in Calcutta, India he transitioned into the afterlife and could not take those he loved with him, you see it was not their turn. He may have given up, but it is hard to know because for several days, he was almost comatose in his hospital bed, plugged into his oxygen machine, unrecognizable to his mother and thousands of miles away from those friends he grew to love so deeply.

Why do those people we cherish so deeply leave us? Why do some get chosen to leave while others must stay? It most surely is a tragedy that those left behind are lonely and bereft by their absence, and yet these stories happen every day to people we never meet and those we hold most dear.

I learned a long time ago that death is no respecter of persons. I also learned that it was important to reflect upon those things about the deceased that gave us great joy in their presence.We continue our lives in a fog, listening to others laugh and not understanding why they get to live and our friend, or our loved one must die. This year alone many have transcended the earthly realm. Friends from a childhood long ago, people who met us in a critical juncture in our lives and gave us their hearts to love. We choose our friends like we choose fine jewels in which to adorn ourselves. Some of them are less shiny than others, but each one sparkles with a sheen that at times blinds our eyes. Those we choose to become close to learn our foibles and our heartaches, and love us just the same. There is an acceptance that sometimes is only found in our animal companions, but can exist for us in the eyes of a dear and loving friend as well.

Today another friend left behind grieving family members who struggle to understand the meaning of their lives now that their family member is gone. And on the far side of the world, many others drop their heads in sorrow at the news their soul mate has left them behind, moving forward to another place, setting up camp to await their arrival, when the time will come when they too will leave the earth plane as we all must.

I honor the life and the delight I took in the man who not only loved my daughter, but loved her enough to be able to help her to grow by being an honest, forthright and kind friend who on his deathbed awakened from a dream of she and his other dear friend, knowing that they too were in his mind and heart as the time neared for him to take his leave.

God Bless you RD. Your life means something to us all and we will always love you.



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