Reflecting on Losses

Note: I started this post back in July, so I realize it’s a little disconnected… bear with me though, there is a point…

It’s weird what can trigger emotional reactions when surfing the interwebs… Here are a couple of things that I saw recently that made me pause, wind momentarily taken out of my sails.

The Death of Sally Ride (image cribbed from
Funny, as I typed it there is sounds like it should be a story title… She was the first woman in space, paving the way for Christa McAuliffe (selected to be the first civilian/teacher in space), as well as others.

The Death of Donald Sobol, creator of Encyclopedia Brown (image cribbed from

Encylopedia Brown was one on my early entry points into mystery fiction (and yes, I remember when HBO optioned a series based on the books, not that I watched it often, I did catch a couple of episodes).

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I was aware of the Sobol and Ride, in varying degrees, as a child. But they weren’t especially significant for me (fine Sobol a bit more than Ride, just because of the books), but they weren’t omnipresent people in my life. They weren’t people I obsessed over and thought about on a regular basis. Much like my thoughts on Maurice Sendak earlier this year, since I only had fringe awareness of them I can only mourn their loss based on the contributions they made.

Recently, however, Death paid a visit a little closer to home – in the office where I work. What makes this sad, two things actually, is that this person: a) was only 38, and b) had only been in the office for less than two months.

When it happened (last week), I began thinking of a more contemplative post, but since it’s taken this long for me to peck at a keyboard let me cut straight to the chase.

Show some sense of appreciation for the pepole in your life, no matter how tangential. If you can’t quite bring to do so for everyone, at least do it do it for those that were a remotely positive presence. Let them know, if you can. You never know when they may move on.

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