Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Firefly Life

Not long ago, the Matron posted about her sweet dear friend, colleague and office hall-mate, Eward not Ed. Tomorrow, she was to give Edward his private telephone tutorial.

Yesterday, Edward walked to campus with Elsie, as usual. The Matron worked from home yesterday, but she knows what Edward's days on campus are like: there is always a steady stream of students in and out of his office. He loves them! Later, he walked home and had a nice dinner with his wife, a glass of good red wine. Their 11-year old daughter tended to homework; she was his late in life child, the third baby his younger wife wanted--even after she turned forty.

Just before midnight, Edward died.

Just like that. He had a heart attack, suffered a few moments of pain and was gone.

Friends, who said this? When you die, it's not as if the actor has left the stage. The stage itself disappears. Every so often, the Matron is overcome -- overcome--by thinking about the millions and millions of people who have come and gone before her -- people whose minds (consciousness, that amazing creature!) constitute entire universes full of emotion, ideas, anxieties, determination and dreams. She herself is a hotbed of emotion, intellect, idea and dream. Multiply this expansive universe times eternity and there: humanity.

One more among us, gone, the stage torn down, a universe dissembled.

Our time here? Firefly life. We burn brightly and beautifully-- for just a few minutes.

"Wear scarlet! Tear the green lemons
off the tree! I don't want
to forget who I am, what has burned in me
and hang limp and clean, an empty dress -- "

Denise Levertov

Burn, burn, burn. Don't ask less of life while you still have it.

29 comments:

Kizz said...

This is the second such piece of news I have heard today. I'm so sorry. Among other things I was really looking forward to seeing how things went with the new phone system.

Peace.

She She said...

I'm so very sorry.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I am so sorry. And right after we'd met him so affectionately.

Rebecca said...

Oh no! Tearing down the stage... I'm overcome with the image. I'm so sorry.

Becky said...

Oh no! I'm so sorry. I could feel the spark of life in Ed through the post you wrote about him.

Karen ~ said...

Sending virtual hugs your way ...

Kristen said...

I know neither of you but your description of your mourning/questioning/sadness made me feel like I do.

Find peace today. Extend peace to Edward's family.

Dorrie said...

I feel like my life was enriched by our brief introduction to Edward via your posts. He sounded like a very special person who will be missed by many. What a great loss but it seems like the world is a better place because of Edward. My sympathies to all who knew and loved him.

Mary Alice said...

Beautiful tribute to life...and to your friend's life. My thoughts are with all those whose lives were intertwined with his. Perhaps he is meeting with my Aunt Laura in the hereafter, she passed yesterday as well. She lay down for a nap and never woke up. A nice way to go at 94.

Quixotic said...

I'm so very sorry. I have only just started reading your blog,but find myself very touched with your poetic tribute to your friend. I hope you find peace and comfort today.

ree said...

Oh no. No, no, no. Such a loss to all who were touched by him.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I'm so sorry for you loss. I hope it is a comfort to you that you have recently shown him great kindness.

Cha Cha said...

Oh, sweet Matron! This made me gasp. I am so sorry for your loss ... for the world's loss.

Thank you for a lovely post.

And at least he didn't spend one of his last days on Earth learning about a #$%^#$%^#%$ phone system. That was a gift from you, my dear.

thefirecat said...

.....Edward!

I only just met him.

Oh, Mare. My heart breaks for all of you who knew and loved Edward.

Heather said...

I'm sorry for your loss.

Minnesota Matron said...

You guy? Rock. Thank you. My dog died tonight too. I am not making this up. Off to wipe myself off the floor. . . more on the dear sweet doggie tomorrow.

Sue said...

wow... I'm so sorry for both losses... life is so brief and beautiful... I wish I could say more, but, well, I think you already know...

Lippy said...

I mostly just lurk here, but had to come say how sorry I am. It is so horrifying to hear of someone passing so unexpectedly. And then to lose your dog...... I will be thinking of both families.

Buckarooandco said...

Ohh, MM, I am so sorry!

I would love to think that Jekyll knew the empathy you had for Edward (not Ed), and followed him tonight because your friend would be missing his companion Elsie and didn't want him to feel so alone, knowing you had the companionship of Satan's Familiar and Snappy, and felt you would be OK.

R.I.P. Edward (not Ed) and Jekyll.

Hay said...

Oh Mary. Big hugs all around. What a double hit ...

Viktor said...

I liked him so much when you first described him. He seems very much like what I want to be when I grow up. (Minus the technophobia.)

The news saddens me.

jenn said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. I loved your post about Edward - he seemed like a gentle soul. Godspeed to him.

kinderny said...

I am so sorry- the loss of Edward is such a shame/waste. Carpe diem and all that.

Memarie Lane said...

My husband, who is only 38, had a heart attack last month. He was very lucky to survive, and was warned to make certain lifestyle changes. He interpreted this as getting the chicken sandwich at McDonalds instead of the quarter pounder. He also joined a gym, but hasn't gone even once. And I can't get him to even look at life insurance policies...

Minnesota Matron said...

Oh no! Memarie -- that is horrible. I'm very sorry about your husband. He NEEDS to get himself to a gym and drive right past McDonalds. These are not easy changes, though, I know.

Daisy said...

Oh, dear. So sorry for your loss - and the loss to his family and students, too.

MJ said...

When I started to read your post, I knew something was up. I'm so sorry about Edward. I'm sure his loss will be felt throughout the university. His light burned bright. His most recent blessings? That he died quickly and with minimal pain and he didn't have to endure learning that new telephone system thanks to you.

So sorry to read of Jekyll too. I'm sure your house is filled with lots of thoughts and emotions. Wishing you all peace.

Jocelyn said...

I feel for everyone who loved him. All of you. And I feel for that 11-year-old daughter, particularly.

Your thoughts about all of humanity, over time, coming, leaving...I've been mulling on such stuff myself lately. Who gets to leave a "permanent" imprint? Why? How? Does it matter?

Serial Mommy said...

my response was "wow" i just was not expecting to read that...i liked edward not ed and i'd only read one previous post about him..prayers and blessings for all that knew him and that will miss his loss greatly...