Sunday, August 23, 2009

When Peers Pass Away

I do not like that phrase - pass away. People die. Old, young, everybody. As we age and more and more of our contemporaries die, it gets us to thinking. Or it should. My friend Tom Olds died last month. He was 55. Younger than I. A few days earlier, Julie Holmes died. She was less than 90 days older than I. Late last week Lisa Josephson died. She was 60. Two years older than I.

A few words about Julie and Lisa (there's a post below about Tom). I didn't know Julie, I only knew of her. Many of my friends knew her, some knew her well. I know she was lovely and good and did good works for her life's work. Lisa was an acquaintance and professional colleague. She was a PR person, too. And a good one. More important, as my friend and her good friend Wayne Harada pointed out to me, she was Hawai'i's biggest booster of the performing arts. She fought an extraordinarily valiant two-and-a-half year battle with cancer. She will be greatly missed by Hawai'i's PR and arts communities, among others.

So since these "peer deaths" happened in rapid succession (bad things come in threes? do good things come in threes, too?), I've been thinking a lot about life...and death. What's it all about, Alfie? And all the other cliches (again). What does it take - and how much of it does it take - to make us humans realize that this is it. This is all we get and we had better make the most of it, whatever that is. Tom and Julie and Lisa all got some time and with some time, you can finish up. Or finish up some. I can count too many friends and relatives who didn't get any time at all. That's the thing. We don't have much - any? - control. So maybe we (I) better just do it (whatever your/my it is). Today.

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