Monday, March 12, 2007


The visitation and the funeral for my late friend are taken care of, and the memorial is yet to come. Tonight after a meeting of one of the groups suffering this startling loss, those of us who cared most learned that our friend had an almost incomprehensible (though experts say surprisingly un-rare) hidden tragedy.

Any of us could and would have helped, or pointed the way to help, but all of us were shut out of this part of a life. The sudden, unexpected, but peaceful death was not suicide, and not related to this shocking revelation, being more of a random hit by fate (unless one wants to blame, without a certainty of connection and despite their denials, the abusers of dioxin), but the pain of not even being allowed to know, much less assist, will be agony the rest of our own lives.

None of this will be broached publicly at the memorial, and the memory of the smiles and joyousness will be reinforced, as they should be against the sadness of most who labored together, but some will now remember the dark side, and resolve not to let another fall through such a crack. Don't take smiling countenances of friends for granted. Let them know they can turn to you, and that they are not alone in the darkness. Politics is not all there is to life; everyone needs to get out and live in other ways as well.

I know; who am I, of all people, to say such a thing? Let my own stunned awakening be a lesson to all. Touch each other and care deeply.

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