I am not ashamed to admit that for every five books I read, I turn ahead to the last part in at least 4. I like knowing, somehow if I know that the hero is triumphant, the love is requited or that the child is saved, I can more easily enjoy the story. I suppose to some this may mean that I am not getting the full effect of the book, I will comfortably say, it’s my choice.

More and more I am learning how little a say I have in life. I can impact journeys, shape beginnings, but, when it comes down to it, I cannot change endings. The layers between loss have become more slender, the stretches of time between one passing and the next seem uncomfortably close. Actually, I think it is just the predictability, the knowing that no matter whether I could turn the to the pages ahead or not, there are more. Always, there will be more.

Yesterday a man died. A father. A husband. A cousin. A son. An uncle. A friend. A teacher. A soul. One minute he was here, as potent and unstoppable as John Wayne, and the next, he simply was no more. I am reeling, wondering how I could so completely have missed the possibility of this twist. This loss.

It has been said before, but it feels as if something greater should have precipitated this. After the news settled, there was more. Relaying and narrating. Bearing witness to the realization of loss is a page that, given the choice, I would not read. Naked shock. Years whizzing before glassy eyes, a nearly imperceptible whoosh of air.

I am so very sorry that Ted has gone. He had a twinkle and a ferocity of hug that always made me squeeze back in the way you only do for some people. I am perching softly as those who loved him longer reminisce. There is laughter, but more then that there is a kind of stillness in the silence of reflection.

It is between those layers, when there is no speaking, when his spirit seems most present.

May you sail peacefully, dear friend.