I made the 2.5 hour drive back to my third quarter of the seminary school year knowing that a good friend was in grave condition in the hospital, and I got a call between Greek and New Testament this morning that he had died a few hours earlier. He had just gotten the all-clear from his oncologist on Friday after months of treatment, and found himself in intensive care a few hours later with what seems to have been a viral infection of the heart.
We have been graced by a close circle of friends for 20 years, most of us having met in a Methodist Church when we were young (-er, anyway) parents of very young children. In fact, at that time the arrival of this man's youngest child and only daughter was still four years in the future.
As I said to another of the women today, we knew that those wonderful years of Easter egg hunts (the annual event hosted by this family) and picnics at the lake and little kids running all around were over, but now one of us is gone and we have really, completely, moved to a new place in life, one in which one of the people carrying the memories and burdens and joys is no longer with us.
I am completely devastated.