Since I only know one person in Titusville, Pennsylvania, I quickly opened the letter from a law firm there when it came today. There were only two sentences informing me of the death of John Richard Foy, III on the 26th of February.
At this point in life I have lost many friends and relatives to the grim reaper, but the news never comes without a note of sadness. All of the hints of things not being right came back, all of the e-mails returned to sender, nothing on social media since birthday greetings from the previous year. There had been no card at Christmas and no note at all since Beltane last May but when I called him mid-January he sounded well and busy and gave me no hint if he knew he was dying. Yet, according to the letter, he was gone within six weeks.
After some tears and the initial shock, I went about the business of heading out to my cousin Ray’s for Holy Saturday dinner. The day was brisk, but sunny and I proceeded with my role in the day’s events as if nothing changed in my life. Mostly I drove the hour and a half there and back home again without the radio going since I felt I needed the silence to get my mind around the loss of Dick.
I logged into social media when I got home and messaged my long-time friend Carol in California who knew him, and my cousin Theresa, who met him when he visited me in Parma, both of whom would know that he was one of the pillars of my past life. I also went to Dick’s wall and saw the comments others posted there. I only said, rest in peace, dear friend. I will have a Mass said for him and mourn in my own quiet way.