A couple days ago, a neighbor of mine passed away. One of those horrible unexpected deaths. Not like a death that you saw coming. Those of course give you time to numb up, or at least spread the contemplation of life after death among multiple moments. But unexpected instantaneous death. That is the truest form of horror as far as I am concerned. You are there, then you are not. That fast, that simple, that wrong.

Now when I mentioned life after death, I did not mean life after death for the dead, I really meant life after death for the living. Only because you can see, and feel, and taste and hear the after effects from the living. I put myself in the position, for instance, of the wife he left behind, or the son and daughters he left behind. How would I be feeling?

Not well.

Friends and family come knocking. Even neighbors come knocking. Some you might be glad to see, others you can do without. Some thinking that all will be okay, some wondering how they will ever manage.

I personally have not gone to give my condolences. I have, as a neighbor, been rather off-standish, even anti-social. This family that lives next door to me has always struck me as a stolid and reserved loving family unit. Strong silent father figure, strong protective mother, kind, courteous and responsible son. The daughters I know very little about. Which tells me that they are much like their mother and father. I really make presumptions here as my interactions with my neighbors can be counted on one maybe two hands in the 9 years I have lived next door. My house no more than 100 feet away from theirs. Sad.

I fear death, which is probably why I think so much about it. I do not fear dying as I am sure that is rather uneventful. It is the death part I fear, not for me but for those I leave behind.

My wife went over today… no one except the spouse of the deceased was there. My wife and I have always wondered how we were viewed by our neighbors as in the length of time we have lived next door, that small number of interactions was not a one sided avoidance. She was received with a hug and an appreciation of our being here.

A hug and words of appreciation.