Showing posts from May, 2016

The Past Comes Crashing Into the Present

Something people in their fifties and sixties are not always psychologically prepared for is the death of friends. Maybe nobody is prepared for that.

My Wednesday started with news that an old girlfriend died last week. Even though I had not seen her in thirty years and had not been in contact for more than ten years, I was still in shock.

Part of the shock is that someone who was barely into her 60s can die, part of it is that someone who made a huge impact on my life is gone. No future contact, no new chapters in her unique life, no more catching-up stories to share. It's another reminder of how fragile and short life is. That scares the shit out of me.And I learned while writing this that her cause of death was a brain tumor, discovered less than six months ago.

Melanie was a phone company sales rep when I met her. That job, with its conservative expectations, dress code and behavioral requirements, was a complete mismatch for her personality.  The off-hours Melanie I met was…