Things happen in threes. It's a fact of nature. There's no denying it. Death is the most conspicuous for occurring in threes. Whenever a celebrity dies right after another celebrity, everyone asks who'll be next?
In a span of a few days, there were three deaths in my life. One I had never met but everyone knew. One I had seen in person and quite a lot of people knew. One I had really known but not very many people knew.
Chronologically, the first to go was the pop star who EMT's found unresponsive in her hotel bathroom and pronounced her dead at the scene. Next was the EMT who died in the line of duty responding to a car fire. He fell from the interstate bridge to a creek twenty or thirty feet below. The last was my sister-in-law's gentleman friend who EMT's tried to revive on his bedroom floor even though he was gone before they arrived.
Practically everyone knows the details of the pop star's death and funeral. She was eulogized by a movie star better than most clergy could ever preach. The brotherhood that is the fire department in American and parts of Canada as well as citizens in my city know about the EMT's death and the bagpipers who laid him to rest. Few know about J's death and the tornado warnings in my home state during his funeral.
Few know that my sister-in-law stopped by her house to pick up something during work and caught J on the bed. She chided him for napping during the day before realizing that he wasn't asleep. I can't imagine the hysteria she felt. He brought so much love and happiness to her life. My mother-in-law even liked him.
Come Monday, people will gather at the water cooler and dissect whether red sashes on black robes will become the new standard in Black churches. Some people will announce that they want a wake at an Irish bar following their funerals. A few of us will note that a good man, who didn't inspire as much outpouring of grief or support as some people, will be missing from our holiday table this year.
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