Eric’s Dad passed away last night. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease several years ago, he’d been in poor health for the last few months. His passing was not a surprise, and while there is a relief that he is no longer in pain, there is an obvious sense of loss and sadness.
Eric and his Mom and I were eating at a restaurant tonight. While there were a few tears, it felt right, to me, anyway, that the laughs by far outweighed the tears. His Mom told several stories about their over 50 years together: courtship, last minute road trips to Vegas, early married life, Sundays spent with the family in Griffith Park, their 40’s, their golden years. She told me that 45 was her favorite age and since that is my current age, it made me feel good. There are many things that I love about my life right now. I feel like I understand me better than I’ve ever understood me before.
While we were sitting there in the restaurant, the only family in the place, “What a Wonderful World” started playing. It was a quiet moment in our evening and I was struck by the juxtaposition of how sad and yet hopeful, even positive the song is. I thought about all of the sweet things people had said about Eric’s Dad in the last few days. Is it luck to be so beloved? Probably not, it’s probably an indication of how one lived his life, what he gave to those who came into his path.
This song really is metaphor for life. It is sad and hopeful, a dirge and an anthem. It’s the sad times that help us value the good. It’s the suffering that Eric’s Dad is out of that eases the pain of the loss.
So, if you happen to click the link below and listen to this gorgeous song. Please spend a few moments honoring a man named Doug. You may not have know him, but he was very, very loved.