How fortunate that you have been called away so soon into the void! Your duties done in a manner fitting. Your race run fast enough.
This body having failed you, perhaps the next will be more generous. Better.
The Japanese of ancient Zen held to the notion that 50 years was a life span. It was all that could be expected, and to go beyond it in any way was reward. This is no consolation, only a reminder of your success in achieving years almost to 60.
I write to you on a cloud-coated Friday morning in the moody summer of 2011, Chicago, IL. Your only nephew, my only brother, has left for the train station to go home after visiting me for almost 2 weeks. It was not a drawn out goodbye: we leave each other with the notion that soon we will meet again to celebrate your life on the occasion of your passing.
Last night, I pulled photos of you from an unorganized collection. I imagine my mother, your brother's ex-wife, doing the same on the other side of Pennsylvania. We think of you. We are away from you, but never very far.
You surprised us all with every bit of a strangely satisisfying kind of love. We may never find it again. But we are the lucky ones.