On Dying, and Flying

This past week I have been touched by three deaths in my work sphere.

Admittedly, none of the deceased were individuals who I really knew, but I know loved ones of theirs, so I feel a sense of closeness to each of them.

One of the dearly departed, who I will refer to as J., was 101 years old.

One hundred and one. A wonderful life.

Even though I never met this gentleman, he left behind one wonderful morsel of a story that I have been reflecting on, as it floats around my mind.

This story was told to me by one of J.’s friends (who I know through work). We’ll call her L., and her life partner, S.

L. and S. visited J.’s home to see how he was faring. It was three days before J. passed away.

At the time, J. was on a respirator but was able to converse. They also celebrated S.’s recent birthday. His 99th.

During their conversation, J. held one of L.’s hands and one of S.’s hands simultaneously and said to them, “Thank you for being my friends.”

************

The photo I included with this post was taken at Smithville Park in Eastampton, NJ.

A graceful, beautiful bird may have soared off into the sunset, but it left behind a gentle, lasting reminder of its presence.

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