Death and Dying Among My Contemporaries

Can one love someone he has never met?  Can one mourn someone he has never met?  The answers to both questions are yes.  Some years ago my twin brother and I were making some tapes of our singing and decided to play the results for our friend Ronnie.  One of our songs was a version of Wagon Wheels, based on the Ravens version.  When we played our lame tape we found out the base singer of the Ravens, Jimmy Ricks, had just died.  I don’t know what my brother felt, but I was saddened. Perhaps not as deeply as if a relative died, but I was still saddened. 

In the past few days I have learned that a woman, Carol Fleming,  who I only know from her website and from the Internet has had her health take a turn for the worse.   I have followed her blog since I was stuck by myself in Tennessee.  She is a retired foreign intelligence officer who worked for the CIA for 20 years.  She was married to a Saudi Arabian man for a relatively short time (time shortened by his death).  Despite what one might think from her employment background, she has always seemed to have a positive outlook, especially about the Muslim world.  I have been following her on facebook.  One gets an impression of people from their writings and my impression of her was very positive.

At age 61, I am starting to see more and more of my older contemporaries die.  Just a few months ago one of my first cousins died at age 66.  I didn’t feel much more than a bit of numbness.  I had not seen her that much in the last 30 years.  I was shocked at her death but not moved much.    This news about a younger contemporary is sad and a bit scary.   We know what the end is here, still I am sad and I will be sadder when it happens.

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