Death in Overdrive

What is going on? Lately it seems that there is a new death thread or two every day in MPSIMS, the news is chock full of celebrity deaths, and I have spent every weekend this month at the funeral home. This coming weekend will be no exception.

For the third week in succession a friend of the family has died. It’s been happening almost like clockwork - February 1, February 9, February 15.

They were all older people, each having reached at least 70 years on this earth. Each filled a niche in our community. Each will be missed.

We now need a new “picture lady”. You probably know someone like that. She’s the one who always has a camera at every get together. Having a pot luck at church? She’s there, taking pictures. The next day the pictures are developed, placed in an album, and sitting in the church foyer. It’s an important job, part historian and part community glue. It’ll be a difficult hole to fill.

We need a new “candy man”. He’s the one who always has peppermints for the kids and hugs for the adults. Always smiling, he never met a stranger. He has a kind word and a bit of humor for everyone. This job can’t be faked, no, the kids would see right through that even when the adults couldn’t. He was buried with his hands folded across his stomach, a peppermint tucked between his thumb and forefinger. St. Peter’s gonna like him.

We need a new “baby lady”. She’s everybody’s grandmother. She’s been keeping the nursery and babysitting as long as anyone can remember. If you’ve been around here long enough she’s changed your diaper, too. She has that special quality that enables her to communicate with infants. They know immediately that she offers security, comfort and love. They know because it shows in her eyes. Oh, she talks to them, but it’s not what she says so much as how she says it. There’s no school for this, folks.

Why now? Why so close? I don’t know. Logic doesn’t work here, no matter how hard we try. All I know is that these were special people, each in their own way. Each passing represents a tear in the fabric. A tear that needs mending lest the fabric begin to unravel.

Well, it is winter. I don’t know if it’s statistically true, but more people, espcially old people like those you refer to, seem to die in the winter. So it’s not that much of a surprise.

But all people are special in their own way. And when people die, it’s not like the cosmic fundament is undoing itself. You’re a doctor; you know that, with your head.

Far from being a unfortunate event, it’s a happy day for the universe, because it means things are still continuing. For every one of the old people you knew and loved, more than one new life came into the world, to hopefully love and be loved all over again. Your friends had to make room for new life, but that’s not terrible, it’s wonderful. Maybe that’s what you meant by “a tear that needs mending.”

“I grow old, I grow old.
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.”

When I was young, my grnadparents were old, and they died. I didn’t really know their friends. Their children, my parents, aunts and uncles were much younger. So were their friends. My friends and their parents were young too. Now, my parents, aunts, uncles, family friends and the parents of my friends are dying with a frequency which I have never experienced before and which fills me with sorrow and regret. I haven’t been to a wedding in several years; fortunately we are still welcoming babies fairly regularly.

That is the stage I am at in my life. I am growing older.

I am sincerely sorry for your losses. Why don’t you declare yourself the new candy man in honor of your friend’s memory? That sounds like a nice gig.

Thanks for the replies, I’m back to my normal self now. I generally have a very fatalistic view of death (heh). It’s as much a part of life as living. It is a bitch, though, to have 3 friends die in as many weeks. There oughta be a limit.

Necros, how apropo of you to reply! I guess your answer to the “Why now?” question is as good as any. I’ve often wondered about the etymology of “the dead of winter”. You may have nailed it. Be careful, though, about putting too much stock in screen names. I’m no more a doctor than you are a dead man!

HS, nice thought but I couldn’t be the candy man. Either you are or you’re not, it’s not something you can pretend to be. I’ll bet your right, though. It’s probably a great gig.

Eep! Sorry! :slight_smile: