Jay Lake: Writer

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[cancer] An odd thing about me and mortality

I’ve been carrying another thought about my mortality lately. I’m 48 years old, and I’ve never lost anyone truly close to me. Dad, (step)mom and mom are alive, as are my siblings. One set of grandparents died before I was born, and I was never terribly close to my other two sets. None of my closest friends have died of accident or disease. Even the late Mark Bourne, whom I do miss terribly, was never a daily presence in my life.

In other words, given that I currently have the shortest life expectancy in my family by a fairly drastic margin, I may well leave this world before my fiftieth birthday without ever having gone through the experience of the death of a close loved one from the mourning side. As I said recently, death is the least surprising part of life. But I won’t really know what my family and friends are experiencing because I’ve never been there.

I can’t decide if this is a blessing, an irony, or a curse. It does seem significant, but I can’t pin down why.

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