Partings and Remembrance

"Parting is such sweet sorrow," wrote William Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet. The circumstance of death being both sweet and sad has landed on the same weekend two years in a row.

My grandfather passed away at the age of 99 exactly one year ago. It was a passing both sorrow and sweet. I had visited with him just a month earlier, on New Year's Day 2009. Looking into his eyes, seeing his withered body, I sensed his longing to die. When you get that old, that infirm, death can hover just beyond your reach, beyond your control. As a tear fell slowly down his translucent cheek, I knew with certainty that I would not see him alive again. And when I got the call that he had finally gone, I was at once grateful and grieved.

"The earth gave up a remarkable soul," wrote Michael Woollard just a few short minutes ago on Facebook. Fr. John Moriarty left us yesterday afternoon. He had suffered from late onset diabetes and eventually lost much of his sight and one of his legs. In the end, it was the news of cancer about a week ago that knocked the life out of him.

My mom visited him in the hospital before he passed and read to him my blog post from February 3rd. I'm not sure if he was lucid enough to soak in the sentiment, but I hope so. He was a teacher, among the best, and now lies in eternal rest.

February 7, 2010 - 195.4 pounds, 26.0% body fat


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