My friend Jeff lost his wife in early April. She'd had kidney problems, but had been released to go home, and died suddenly after getting back. Jeff seldom referred to her as "my wife." Instead, she was nearly always "Cathy." It's sometimes striking how much you can read from one word. When Jeff said the word "Cathy," what I heard was, "I love her so much." Cathy was only in her fifties. It makes me sad to think that they've been denied the time to grow old together.
My coworker Shaun is one of those guys who seems in rapture over being a dad. He's mentioned the incredible feeling of having his infant son fall asleep on his chest, and of watching the little guy discover life and the world. Now his wife wants a divorce, and Shaun lives away from his son.
My coworker Tim flew regularly to the Deepwater Horizon. He knew several of the folks who worked on the rig personally. It was "his rig" so to speak; he was most often tasked for the crew change flights in and out of there. I haven't asked him if he knew any of the eleven workers presumed killed in the explosion. But, I know that it must weigh on him, knowing that he's been responsible for their safety in the past, while they were passengers on his helicopter. At around the same time as the Deepwater Horizon explosion, Tim learned that he had some major blockage of coronary arteries, and underwent the stent procedure. He'll be grounded for a minimum of six months. Tim was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross while serving as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. I hope we'll see him back in the cockpit in a few months, and I hope that when he retires, it's on his terms.