Monday was my first All Souls’ Day remembering my best beloved.
While I miss him dearly I am also grateful that for him all sickness and suffering is past.
John lived with metastatic prostate cancer for more than nine years and took time to consider a farewell. As I establish a new rhythm of living and return to blogging (at least that’s my intent!), I thought I’d share his final word.
‘Biography’ by Shel Silverstein (from Every Thing On It, 2011): ‘First he was born / And then he was warned / And then he learned how to swim / And then he was married / And then he was buried / And that’s all that happened to him.’
“I do not have any ancestors of note. My descendants are presently in the midst of busy lives and, should they distinguish themselves, it would be presumptuous to claim credit for their success. I stand in death just as I did in life. To paraphrase the words of Sir Winston Churchill, I was a modest little man who had much to be modest about.
“Let it be said that I have had the companionship of an exceptional person over the last twenty-five years. She brought joy to my existence and there is no way that I can express my gratitude for her presence.
“I am also grateful to the countless bright, humane people who have shared my life’s journey. Thank you. May your lives be as rich as mine has been.
“Gerolamo Cardano (1501-1576, physician, mathematician, astrologer, gambler, philosopher) summed my life accurately when he wrote, ‘Although happiness suggests a state quite contrary to my nature, I can truthfully say that I was privileged from time to time to attain and share a certain measure of felicity. If there is anything good at all in life with which we can adorn this comedy’s stage, I have not been cheated of such gifts.’ (from The Equation That Couldn’t Be Solved by Mario Livio, 2006)
“As Lt. Colombo might say, ‘Just one more thing’. Since life is not quite as simple as Shel Silverstein has put it, there is one last detail that must be added. Human relationships are complicated and messy. To those I have offended or treated badly, I apologize.”– John M. Clark, “Final Word,” 2020