Sometimes someone only very vaguely ‘in’ our life can die and we may find ourselves deeply surprised at the impact that loss has on us. I have heard so many folks reflect that... ‘I don’t know why this is sticking with me...I hardly knew him/her.’ Yet, in the loss we become aware that our lives, hearts, or minds were taught or impacted while we barely realized it was happening.
Years ago there was a nurse practitioner at my children’s pediatricians office that I found to be particularly kind. One day when one of my children was ill, we saw her and she seemed quite odd, a bit ghost like. Shortly after that I noted a letter on the bulletin board at the office that she had died from cancer.
I have spent some time now trying to understand why I was so struck by her loss. Her youth? Her kind nature in a place that I have always found quite cold and stressful? The fact that I didn’t ‘know’ she was seriously ill? The truth is, I still don’t have much of an answer. But I think of her all these years later, and her death, and I pause.
(Originally posted 8/3/18)