Sumit’s unexpected-by-me memorialization of his recently deceased wife, Kathryn Oates, 1970-2005, caught me utterly off guard and prompted a solid half-hour of spastic and vocal weeping which disturbed at least one of our cats, and prompted insistent, worried questions from my own wife. Sumit’s characteristic grace and intelligence are present in his eulogy for her. Listen closely, though, for his shining words cloak his pain. I feel it nonetheless.
Viv was rightly mystified at my reaction – after all, Sumit is not a close friend, and I did not even know that he was married. Her concern is well-grounded. My grief is both sympathetic and personal. It’s a direct reaction to my own experiences of loss, and as Sumit’s blog material is generally not personal, the post caught me unawares. I was immediately propelled into an accelerated experience of my own concerns and fears about the inevitable experience of losing my own loved ones.