My friend Heidi wrote to tell me that her mother-in-law died on the day I posted the story, "Everyone You Love Must Die." "Does that give you goosebumps?" She asked. It did. "I hope I didn't make you cry," she added, after telling me how her husband's mother died. I did. Cry.
Then, I sat at the kitchen table trying to make a sympathy card for Ken and Heidi. Heidi is a good artist, and I am . . . well . . . not. I keep trying, but I fail more than I succeed. I started with colored pencils and switched to pastels. (This is a small card, 4 x 5 inches.) I was grousing to myself that there was no undo button on analogue art.
Then, I heard what I was thinking.
Suddenly, I began weeping again. My small issues with lousy art are nothing compared to their issues, Ken, Ken's Mom, Heidi: there is no undo button on death. No matter how much we love someone, we can't bring them back when they're gone.