Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A Random Jolt of Reality

I once officiated a funeral of one of my elderly parishioners on Christmas Eve. No funerals are “easy,” but that one was especially difficult because of the unexpectedness of her death and the expected “joy” of the season. Death at Christmas is one of those random jolts of reality that upset our sense of equilibrium. We think that it isn’t supposed to happen; but it does. Death knows no season and seldom comes at an appropriate time.

It has happened to me and my family—a random jolt of reality at Christmas. Yesterday I received word that my cousin, Larry, who was born about a month before I was born, died of a heart attack. Not only the unexpectedness his death at his rather young age—59—but the season of the year has disoriented me. I ask myself, “Has this really happened?”

Larry’s daughter, Melissa, has left for Florida, where her father recently relocated and yesterday died. Thus, the family here in Louisville awaits the funeral plans, even as we begin the Christmas visitations and celebrations.


  1. These things are never easy, especially when it forces us to look at ourselves. My prayers are with you and your family, Nick.

  2. It is difficult to lose a relative at any time, but the holiday season must be especially sorrowful. You and your family are in my thoughts.

  3. Punkmom: Thank you. I believe we are in need of a lot of prayers at the moment.

    Mike: Thank you.

    Jay Are: Thank you.

  4. I finally found your blog, Nick. I like what you are doing. Sorry to hear of Cousin Fred’s (Larry’s) death. ~ Rex

  5. Azsonofagun: Glad you found the blog, Rex. I’m sorry if it was through my post that you learned of Larry’s death. I suppose that, since he died in Florida, there was a delay in getting his obituary into the Courier-Journal: it didn’t appear until Saturday.

    If you read this, email me—I lost your email address when my computer was sabotaged last December—and I will send you the details.

    Hope you have a very merry Chanukah, which I believe begins this evening.

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