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Another threshold

My long-time friend, Glen, died last week. The first thing Glen and I  did together in Detroit, 1969 was to go into elevators and face the back to freak people out and then we got stoned. Glen helped my wife and I set the poles (trees) in the house  we built in West Virginia.  He and his wife had wanted us to move to Maine and live with them, but it was too cold for us. Glen died of brain cancer. His children took care of him for the last six weeks of his life in his home. Not a nurse among them.

After his memorial service two generations talked about the death of our parents. Some very old, others not so old. We had all guided our parents to a threshold we couldn’t cross with them. Such a gift, being at a threshold with people. From entering a room to leaving life. One minute you’re in one space and the next it’s another. Thresholds of all kinds are a special intimacy.

My heart swells to watch the next generation get that.  We did something right. Be well Glen. We are.


  • joyce says:

    Very profound and thought provoking. I have been there and all of the comments say it right.

  • Franceen says:

    So sorry for your loss Danny and Ann. The closeness and shared experiences with friends and family, during our own formative years, seem to cut deep when we cross those thresholds.

  • Sue says:

    “One minute you’re in one space, and the next….”. Beautifully said Danny. Thank you! I’ve had that feeling of awe and wonder–when someone I loved has died, and as I gazed at their body–something in me has kept asking, where did he/she go? The absence of life so apparent in a lifeless body–so irreversible and astonishing even as you feel full of that person’s presence — for me sometimes more than before.

  • dvanleeu17 says:

    Tx folks for your good thoughts. On the last few pages of Being Mortal. Recommend it.

  • Cristin L. says:

    I sat in the hospital room reading a book with my dying father as his breathing slowed. I came out of the story to hear a long, slow exhalation, and wondered if it was his last breath. One more came. Then none. I didn’t feel that I did that moment right. But maybe it was about just what you said–walking to the threshold, but not being able to go with him, that felt strange. That and knowing that there would never be anyone in my life who loved me as fully as my proud dad did. Thanks for sharing that phrase. It helps.

  • jcudhea says:

    Danny, what a warm memory and re-telling. Thank you.
    Have you read Being Mortal? It is a book worth reading and sharing.