Death is part of life. But it’s tougher to wrap your head around it when it comes “too soon.” Carl Reiner was 98, and had dinner with Mel Brooks every day for a decade… I think most of us would slot that into the “he had a great run” category. On the other hand, there are those who pass in their prime. We all know them (Hi Mom!).

I admire my friends who have lost a loved one “too soon” yet have managed to look beyond their own pain and anguish and create something that will benefit others.

My old radio friend Steve and his family – their 17-year-old son Patrick took his own life this year after battling depression for years. They’ve started a nonprofit in the Chicago area:

The wife and daughter of a local musician and videographer, who have started a fund in his honor to aid organizations that treat mental illness:

The family of a Xavier grad who recently died of Legionnaires’ Disease at age 55:

The family of another Xavier grad, Kim, who died of a heart attack two summers ago at 52. Her siblings (two of whom also went to Xavier, and the third sibling married an XU grad) have started the Kimberly Ann Collins Memorial Scholarship fund to aid students in need of financial assistance at Villa Madonna Academy, the Northern Kentucky school that Kim attended from K-12. They held a fundraiser this past weekend, despite the fact that their dad passed away from COVID a month ago.

In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Marc Antony said “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.” Kudos to the folks who are proving ol’ Billy Shakes wrong on that, and making sure that the good lives on, even after their loved ones are gone.

Life is eternal and love is immortal, and death is only an horizon, and an horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight. 

From a prayer written by William Penn, later included in a poem by Rossiter W. Raymond