A little over a year ago, a Post (link below) was published. It focused on the unexpected loss of a dear friend.


Yesterday (Monday), I received a phone call from my daughter who lives on our west coast. “Dad ….. Helen died.”

Helen and Benny were married for around 40 years and so, not surprisingly, living without Benny became a significant challenge however, she did seem to be coping as well as could be expected.

When I was over there last Fall, Helen and I had lunch together and generally talked about her circumstances, and life in general. We had another lunch date planned in a few weeks time.

When we were out walking Ray today, we stopped at a Tim Horton’s and sat outside sipping rather hot lattes. I was watching the traffic; the people across the road; the people going in/out of Tim’s; in fact I was watching the world go by. Nobody had any idea what was on my mind as they went about their day. Helen had only just recently died, but so had so many other people. They could have died in an accident; by an act of aggression; from a terminal illness, or from simply aging.

It seems to me that we have created a kind of insulated society, in that people are dying all the time, but life just goes on for most people as if nothing had happened … which of course was quite correct within their personal worlds.

There are no revelations here, except that when I want to scream out to the world “Stop and listen … Helen just died”, I know that it would have little impact for hopefully obvious reasons. It seems somehow wrong that the world can continue as if nothing had happened,when so many people are dealing with personal loss.

What was I doing a few months ago when a boat load of refugees capsized in the Mediterranean and so many were drowned? What was I doing when the parents of school children killed in a mass shooting were trying to come to terms with the fact that their child would not be coming home ever again?

While these ramblings merely confirm a simple fact of life, it does seem somehow wrong that everybody lives their life as per normal, even though some of our fellow humans are struggling to process a personal loss.

R.I.P. Helen. You will be remembered for so many reasons (all good!), but I wish you could have stayed around a bit longer. I miss you already.

39 thoughts on “Helen

  1. So sorry about Helen. It seems like the world shouldn’t be able to go on as normal when such a big piece of your life has been sucked into the Great Beyond. But it does. If an event doesn’t personally affect us, it moves quickly in and out of our consciousness. πŸ™‚

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  2. First of all, my heartfelt sympathy, Colin. I am so sorry for your loss. Both within a year… so sad. But in some way, it shows their connection which is touching again. Weird feelings. I think situations like these are showing the many different realities we live in. One life is changed from one moment to the next and another life doesn’t even notice. Those simple daily things seem so ridiculous to go for when something so sad happened. Then again I think of my mom, who made it an effort to focus on the little daily things again and took care of her life and her family after my father died. It was not easy since she had to learn and deal with so many things she never took care of (financial, my dad’s company,…) She did not oppress her grief but accepted it as part of her life while she made the decision to live on. She is such a role model for me.

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  3. I am a widow, and I have explained this to so many people before – and have never seen anyone else talk about it. I remember, and it’s so clear, the day after my husband died. I was sitting in my bedroom. It was on the second floor of our home. Looking out the window. The sun was so shiny, and hot. It was June 24 in Virginia. And I saw a Silver Ford Taurus driving through the neighbor hood. And I was like – what are they doing? Going to the grocery store? How can they go buy milk, and my husband is dead!? And now, randomly, as morbid as it sounds. I stop and pray, it weird moments. (Milk is a big trigger for me for this behavior) – and I will just pray. Because I know, somewhere in the world, someone feels like their whole life was shattered.
    Thank you for this. And reading my rambling comment.

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  4. I so relate to this. My friend Joan died a few weeks ago. I tried to share my loss and all the fond memories but everyone was going on with life. Seems like there should be shared and shocked pauses when we can shout together, I MISS YOU SO!

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  5. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend Colin. May she and Benny be united again.
    I too have been pondering over things since our neighbour died and concerned about his wife. She is coping marvellously on the outside but we have seen the strain and been here when she needed a shoulder, hand to hold, or someone to hug as she cried. It seems unfair that someone is taken so unexpectedly and suddenly, but the week before, they’d met up with family and had a wonderful few days. A good memory to have and a blessing for all concerned.

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  6. Very true. Maybe it’s survival. I have “hardened” up with all the mass shootings as a defense mechanism. I am still appalled, saddened, (insert all those emotions here) but I have to cope. There is perpetual mourning going on all around. When it hits us, it seems so much bigger. I am so sorry you lost your friend. RIP Helen

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  7. The loss of a loved one is so hard. You are so right about wanting the world to stop and letting them know what is breaking your heart. I remember that feeling strongly when my brother died. How can others be laughing and acting like nothing had changed when everything had changed.
    You may say that you are just sharing rambling thoughts but they do make one think, you are always good at making others think .
    My sincere sympathy to you my friend, with a hug as well!

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  8. It’s a strange world, isn’t it? Our friends are here today and gone tomorrow. We have no idea where they came from, or where they went to. And one day we’ll be gone too, with no idea where we’re going. Sounds like you’ll be missing your friend a lot. She must have been a good person to know.

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