Wednesday, April 4, 2007

There's been a death in the family. An uncle. We'll gather, we husbands and wives, sons and daughters nieces and nephews. On Sunday. The day after the night we'll celebrate Passover. I'm a half Irish guy, a Congregationalist who married a Jew. And, I'm an uncle. And my wife Donna's an aunt. But we're rarely referred to as Uncle Terry and Aunt Donna.

I'm Terry. Donna? She's Donna. Strange really, isn't it? I've never been a father. Donna's no mother. We are, in fact, an uncle and an aunt. But nobody calls us that.

Uncle Mitch died today.

I read somewhere that death is something that begins to happen to people who have lost those who remember them. You reach the age of, say 80. Everyone you ever knew. Everyone who ever witnessed what you did or didn't do. They're gone.

And so are you. Sort of.

We live in the memories other people have of us. This may or may not explain the explosion of memoirs, the proliferation of memories scribbled down by people who have had no children.

People like us.

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