The four of us traveled together extensively. Every year we embarked on what came to be known as our “Ski and Sea” trip – a week skiing followed by a week in the sun, generally in the Caribbean. Sometimes we even went directly from the snow to the sea, which made for some interesting packing decisions. The four of us celebrated just about every holiday, birthday, and anniversary together. We lived close by so getting together for dinner on a Saturday was a common occurrence. Even our occupations overlapped so table talk was often sprinkled with shop talk. We were truly family in the most intimate sense of the word.
Getting older means we lose people close to us. We will outlive those who succumb to diseases and accidents. It will happen more and more and each loss will be heartfelt. At our age now, we have already lost many dear friends and family. Both my wife and I have lost our parents, but that’s to be expected. My father died at 96 after a wonderful and fulfilled life. Our other three parents died at younger ages but again, it’s the normal turn that the older generation leaves us. I’m now a member of that older generation and though I’m considerably south of my 90s, when I die the next generation will say the same thing, namely, that it’s the normal turn of events. Hopefully it won’t be for a long while and hopefully the kids will also be able to say that I lived a fulfilled life.
But my friend was a peer, not of the older generation. That makes her death very different. She wasn’t the first—indeed, my first loss was as a 6-year old who lost a classmate. A few others died throughout the years. And when I got into my fifties and sixties, more and more friends got sick and died. But never did I lose someone so close to me, someone with whom I had so much history. And most importantly, someone I would have had many experiences and adventures with in the future.
I mourn her loss and grieve for the loss I will endure for the rest of my life.