Tuesday, September 8, 2009

When is a death close enough to hurt?

When is a death close enough to hurt?

I recently learned of a death of the mother to a childhood friend. While I normally may have been stoic in dealing with the news, I was moved by the news and felt it was necessary to do something. For me, a death is close enough to hurt when I feel I need to either go to the services or at least express my sympathy with flowers, a card, or something on that level.

I think part of what moved me to do something, part of why the death hurt was that I had often stayed overnight in her house. She treated me as a son when I was there and her son and myself even started school together. Same day, same school, same bus stop. We're in each other's photos. We're part of each other's history.

As we grew older, we grew apart. We moved on to different cliques in high school and went our separate ways after graduation. As we moved into our adult lives, we crossed paths again when my family moved onto the same street as him and his family as well as his parents. He lives next to his childhood house while I live another mile or so down the road. We never really became friends again, but we randomly heard news about each other through our parents.

And because of those few years together, those nights spent in his room (I still remember the bunk beds and the cool trashcan he had), that first day of school, all of these add up to sadness in learning about his mother's death. I wasn't able to attend the viewing or the funeral, but my father paid his respects. So I did the best I could in expressing my sympathy by sending flowers. That's how I knew the death was close enough to hurt.

- Numerous facts were gathered from the private Richard Family Estate collection. These facts span numerous sources of information and contain genealogical data, photos, and newspaper articles.

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