Luciano Pavarotti died last week. He was in the news one day, suggesting that he was seriously ill, and the next day, we heard of his death. Interesting site note: I found a site that actually has a database that shows whether an actor, a politician, or an economist (how can you tell with economists?) or several other categories is dead. You can browse by category, search by date of death, by cause of death, and other ways. Sort of cool. Oh, a long side note.
Two people I have had emails from in the last week have lost their fathers recently (in the last month). Oh, and one of my friends lost a grandparent this week as well, so I have been thinking about them, praying for them.
A few years ago, there was a movie that I did not see that was about relationships. I can't remember who was in the movie, its title, or even when it came out. Early dementia, perhaps? Anyway, there was a quote from the movie that I wanted to use, and because I can't find it, I can't quote it. It was something like, "People get married because they need witnesses to their lives."
Oh, here is the quote from Shall We Dance (released in 2004, perhaps I blocked out the movie because of Richard Gere1, and yes, I did see the movie):
We need a witness to our lives. There's a billion people on the planet... I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things... all of it, all of the time, every day. You're saying 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness'."
Well, I don't know if I believe this about marriage – that the overarching reason to get married is that we need a witness to our lives. If that were the case, we could purchase video recorders and save us the hassle of training men. What I do know is that our parents hold some of the keys to our memories. They are the ones who tell us when we took our first steps, who Uncle Charlie is related to, where the pink-flowered china came from, all sorts of things. And when a parent dies, you loose some of that. When you lose both parents, you lose even more memories.
I want to be able to talk about this with an air of authority. I want to be able to say things that would clarify the emotions one feels when a parent dies, when a grandparent dies.
But I can't do that. All I can say is "I am sorry for your loss." And perhaps, that is all that needs to be said.
1I really don't like Richard Gere. Not sure why, but I get the willies when I see him.
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