Every time I encounter death, I feel the same helpless vulnerability. And so it was when I learned just this morning of the death of the “patriarch” of our piano group.
He was a wonderful man, probably in his 80’s and still a practicing psychiatrist. He had the most wonderful piano I have ever played -- a huge Steinway model L. He always attempted extremely difficult music and fussed at himself when he made a mistake. His house was like a museum. His newest dog, a German shepherd he had raised from a puppy, was now well trained and totally devoted to him.
The last time I saw him a couple of months ago, he walked with a very smart cane but looked otherwise quite well. We heard he had taken a fall, but fully expected him to rejoin us soon.
He is the second of our group to pass away, the first having lived with ovarian cancer for quite some years. But this one took us all by surprise. In a sense maybe that’s better than a long anticipation of death.
We will indeed miss his music and his presence when we get together for our monthly renditions of “Works in Progress.”
I suppose life is really just a work in progress. And sometimes it’s finished.