Life’s Fragility: A Tribute

I was reminded again today how fragile life is. They say that “bad things come in threes” and while I do not want to say that is true, at least today it is, for three friends’ spouses and families…

Yesterday morning, I received an email from a former colleague who worked at the same employer where I honed my skill and worked for 20 years. This former colleague shares occasional news of our large former work-family. She said in her email that our former boss had passed away. I really liked that guy, but must admit that when he retired in 1991 and relocated to southern Virginia, I kinda lost track.

Yesterday evening, I received a call from one of my lovely senior pals who informed me that her neighbor who I also took grocery shopping about once a month, passed away suddenly. Likely a cardiac arrest.

Then this morning, I received an email from Larry, who with his husband Bill, created the website back in the late ’90s. Larry at first informed me that his husband had decided that his health was not going to get any better after being hospitalized for the past two weeks, and that Bill wanted to be disconnected from a feeding tube and come home.

Larry was making arrangements to honor his husband’s wishes by scheduling caregivers to provide 24/7 care as well as work with Hospice to help Bill be comfortable and not feel pain.

Unfortunately, within a couple hours of Larry’s email saying that Bill was coming home to die, Larry sent another message saying that Bill had died early in the morning at the hospital.

My heart sank.

Bill was a very special guy. He helped me in a number of ways while I was first developing my website. Few people really knew that Bill was the technical brains behind the website and knew a lot about how it all worked. What was interesting is that Bill was not a computer-whiz. He was an attorney. But he was very well-read and had deep curiosity and passion of learning.

I met Bill several times while in San Francisco for work. Bill and I may not have always agreed on some things. Bill and I had a mild (in retrospect) argument once over moderating comments on That is, my moderation style was somewhat more severe than Larry or Bill wanted to see. But I held the value of friendship closer than being right. I decided to step down from that position and back away from to get away from some of the unnecessary drama that the position entailed. (That’s why I seldom post on that board any more. I don’t need the drama.)

As I became less involved with, my friendship with Bill and Larry grew deeper. We would see each other every visit (there or here) and exchange email often. Larry frequently comments on my social media posts.

Well, today was “the third” bad news about a death of someone for whom I had deep respect and admiration. I applaud Larry for doing all he could do to fulfill Bill’s wishes. Personally, I’d love to be there for Bill’s memorial whenever arranged, but doubt that I can break away from work.

Meanwhile, these three recent and rather sudden deaths remind me once again about how fragile life is. Today and every day I hold my husband close, look him deeply in the eyes and tell him how much I love him. I prepare his meals, make him comfortable, care for him — and he cares for me, too.

I am reminded how fragile life is. I am a man of deep faith, but I do not believe in some mystical being… when it’s my time to die, I just want to die. I know that I will never see my husband or my family who died before me again. Meanwhile, I will be passionate about

Life is indeed short: show those you love through your actions how you love them each and every day you are alive to do so!

1 thought on “Life’s Fragility: A Tribute

  1. I’m very sorry to learn of Bill’s passing. I had the pleasure of meeting him and Larry a few years back when they were visiting New England. He certainly was an interesting guy! I’m glad that he had his faithful companion and husband, Larry, with him to the end. Life certainly is fragile, and fleeting, so we should do all we can to make life easy and comfortable for our family and friends as well as we can.

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