Dearly Departed

This week I lost two friends from my high school class of 1960. There is nothing surprising about that when you consider that my classmates are all about 79 years old. What is surprising, at least to me, is how accustomed one can, even must become, to these losses.

It is not as if these deaths and others that have been occurring more frequently do not matter. They most certainly do. They certainly matter to the sons and daughters of the deceased. They matter to their grandchildren. They matter to their friends and the community in which they lived. As classmates from long ago these deaths still matter to me.

First came word that Bruno Z had died. I had not seen or heard from him since our graduation in 1960. Yet, I clearly remember him. He was such a nice guy; his big smile was always on his face.

Next came word that Norma G had died. She had caught my eye back then. We took many rides in my car back then. Her mom and dad knew me and liked me. To my chagrin, Norma had another boy that she liked better. We parted as friends. I had not seen or talked to her since 1960.

So, how did I react when the news of their deaths reached me? I wasn’t shocked. Instead, I found myself seeking reassurance in the obituaries that were written about them. I wanted to know that they had lived full lives and that they had families who would carry on. Both had and that was all I needed to know.

After a couple of tears and a brief prayer, I was ready to move on. I will never completely forget either one of them. But I recognize the reality that comes at my age; I could be next.

About authorbillramsey

During his forty-year professional career, Bill Ramsey wrote magazine articles and business newsletters. Now retired in the mountains of western North Carolina, he writes a blog and has published four books. Bill's 2015 collection of concise, real-life essays is titled "What Do YOU Think?" He has also written "Me Now - Who Next? (The Inspiring Story of a Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery)" and "Now That I Think About It. Bill's books and are available from and on all e-readers. See Follow Bill on Facebook at
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6 Responses to Dearly Departed

  1. Celia Miles says:

    You have hit the nail on the head (I know it’s a cliché), Bill, as you generally do. Certainly I relate to the losses and am surprised at the acceptance thereof.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have no choice but to accept the death of others. In fact, we have no choice but to accept our own death. For the longest time I felt almost guilty about my growing acceptance of the death of others. Acceptance does not include forgetting those lost.


  2. says:

    Sorry for the loss of your two classmates, Bill. We have lost of number of classmates from my high school class too, including one ~ a month ago. Have found in myself a similar reaction and habit as you have found.


    • Jerry, It seems unfair to those who lose their lives before reaching a “ripe old age” (whatever that means). Yet it happens and we left with nothing but the unavoidable acceptance of it. We never forget but go on for as long as we have been given.


  3. I’ve lost track of how many classmates I’ve lost. I always stop and try to conjure up an image or two, say a brief prayer, and then say goodbye. Sadly, death is something we become accustomed to as we age; not that it is ever welcome, because it’s not.


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