Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Sorry for Your Loss

Folks say Sorry for your loss because it gives the receiver comfort I guess.  Sometimes folks say it because some sentiment is expected, but is it?  And if it's not coming from one's heart isn't it just a self-serving throwaway?  Who knows.

As I write this I recall a time when a friend and colleague had suddenly lost, I believe, her first grandchild.  Having five of my own I could only begin to imagine what such a loss would do to me.  When I walked into the office someone said, "She wants to be left alone."  As she stood beside her desk, I crossed the room and wrapped my arms around her.  She squeezed me tight and cried into my shoulder.

I've never been able to cry when I need to.  My dad: WW-II vet, gentle giant, my hero, told me when I was very young that men don't cry.  I don't blame him.  It was the male mantra of the time.  But there are times, like now, I wish I could.  Oh, I cloud up, I feel the urge, but I can't/won't let it come.

Betsy died Saturday.  We worked together at Empire State College for a short time.  We wrote together at a funky beach house named Duckdog for a short time.  We kept in touch electronically over the years, years when she battled cancer to a standstill then had to battle it again.  I can't say she lost.  I'd bet it was a draw and she decided it was time to go.

She wrote from her heart - memoir - growing up in a small upstate town.  When she read her work to us later in the evening, her memories were illustrated in her face, happy, sad, wistful, all shown clearly.  She wrote with honesty and candor, some regrets, no excuses.  The writing crew enjoyed her as she enjoyed us.

She was sometimes serious

Sometimes not

Sometimes Curious

Sometimes not

But she was always that person who was fun to be around.  I'll miss her.  I wish I could hug and cry with her family and friends today.  I can't seem to do it alone.  

I'm so sorry for our loss.