I belong to a Facebook group that is alumni of my high school who graduated between 1976 and 1986. There's one long thread going on where some of them are collecting names and circumstances of those alumni who have died. A lot of the names I don't recognize, but many of them I do. And I had to contribute to the list as well...my brother Greg, who killed himself just this past April. I think he would have been pleased, as am I, at the number of old friends who have offered their condolences and even shared a quick story or memory of their friendship with him.
Father James McGowan is the originator of the main list, and he offered a prayer of sorts not long ago. It feels fitting to me to post it here, not only for my high school friends who have passed, but for those we lost ten years ago on 9/11, and for my brother, who I am gradually becoming less mad at and who I miss.
" Long ago we stood together. A generation in one place. At one time. We were young and restless.We thought we were fifty feet tall and bullet proof. We thought we would live forever. No one told us that that death might find us or that we would part company so soon. Loss is never easy. We need to be mindful that it is not about how all these people died or that they left the party early. It is the fact that they lived and we were privileged to have them touch our lives and; maybe we were privileged enough to touch theirs. Amen!"