I loved the card you sent! I would like to send you a card in return (because mail) but your envelope with the return address has already gone to the great recycling depot down by the river, beside the dump. Please tell me your mailing address.

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Oh Anne! How beautifully written. And ahh fate. I feel very close to this story. My father died when I was in my mid thirties and no one really knew what to say. None of my friends had experienced this type of loss as yet. I had the fate of being one of the first. It was also a difficult time in my life. My parents lived in Montreal and I in Toronto. And am an only child. And I travelled back and forth for 9 long or short months every weekend watching my father die. I also was single and had been for a number of years. With just a few friends to help me through. I spent my time between abject fear and sadness. After he died I was so lost. And no one seemed to know what to say. I was angry all the time. My mom came to visit often. But these reunions were often fraught with pain neither of us could acknowledge. I just wanted you to know that I agree how life twists and turns and we just need to hang on for the ride. I eventually moved to Vancouver with a boyfriend. It didn’t work but gave me 5 years to clear my head. I came back to Toronto and continued working in my publishing job. Became a dog mom and life went on. The pain subsided and only pops in occasionally. Now I am dealing with my mom who is 92. The fear and sadness is creeping in. But this time I take it slowly knowing everything will happen as it is supposed to and I will handle it all. Love you and your writing.

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Thank you for sharing this -- and for the shoutout to Pluto! 🔭 💗

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I've been fascinated by the whole idea of fate vs. coincidence. I've always been on the coincidence side, but your post moved me a few notches to the fate side -- sort of. Here's why.

What Bill Paxton in that movie doesn't stop to think about is that we are in part -- consciously or subconsciously -- makers of our own fate. To quote him again in what is probably the most famous misquote of that movie: "We're storm chasers; it's what we do." Was it Cary Elwes' destiny to get sucked up into a tornado? Well, he certainly increased his chances. They all did. Yes, like Don Draper says, the universe is indifferent. So destiny/fate is closely tied to chance/coincidence. If enough people play with enough tornadoes over a long enough period of time, fate is certainly going to intervene.

(Of course, if you want to add another twist (no pun intended), you could point out that the movie was written by a screenwriter, who ultimately decided Cary Elwes' fate. Mind blown...)

Also of course -- this comment is mostly besides the point of the rest of your post. I hear you about people trying to rationalize or "fix" the death of a loved one. I've made a bit of peace with it though, mostly because I was one of those people. I wanted to help. Most of all, I wanted to make them feel better. Rationalizing and fixing were vain attempts at doing the impossible: making it all go away. I think that's what everyone tries to do.

Today, I usually say something along the lines of, "That sucks." Because what else is there to say? It's usually a time to listen to that person rather than talk, anyway.

There is no easy way through it. But as you say, just acknowledging that they are going through it and recognizing the tremendous suckage is the best you can do.

That's what I've found, anyway.

Thanks for the deep thoughts this Friday morning...!

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