More Reflections on Those Who Have Gone Before

In addition to Aunt Aldea, there has been another death in the family. Nancy’s father Al lives with us and his cousin Bob Graner died on Sunday, May 13th. Bob lived in Los Angeles (practically under the flight path of the airport). Last week we received a call from Bob’s son Steven who said that Bob was on hospice care and wasn’t expected to live long. Though Bob and Al were cousins, they grew up next door to each other and really thought of themselves as brothers. The day before he died we went up to visit him and it was a good visit; he and Al were able to talk about the old times and remember people and events that they shared 70 years ago. I talked with Rob, one of Bob’s sons, who said that Al was likely the one person Bob was waiting to see. That’s probably true because Bob died 14 hours later. His Mass of Resurrection is this Friday.

Bob was not a young man: he was 88 and had been a widower for a little over 7 years. He was certainly ready to go and reunite with his wife. I wonder about all the stories that are lost with his his death. We all stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us and I like to think we have heard much of what Bob had to say. But he had memories of people we never met. I was thinking about that when I was wandering the cemetary after Aunt Aldea’s death. Because of my genealogy research I knew the names of many of the family members buried there, but I never knew them. They are really just names and dates for me and I’m afraid every death makes them more and more remote.

So on Friday let us raise a glass or a prayer for Bob and all the people he is reuniting with in Heaven.

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