So last night at 30,000 feet, on my way home, finally, on a three-hours-delayed flight from Cincinnati, I read this:
“When someone you love dies, and you’re not expecting it, you don’t lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time...Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes—when there’s a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she’s gone, forever—there comes another day, and another specifically missing part.”And suddenly I’m sobbing. Fortunately most of the other passengers had bailed after the second flight delay, so the cabin was mostly empty, and with all the lights off I didn’t have to deal with anyone trying to be solicitous.
It’s not that I’m embarrassed—if I were, I wouldn’t be writing this—but that such interactions always make me feel badly for the person who asked.
I had been in Cinci to give three presentations at a user group. My Windows wallpaper these days includes the following, because I like to look at it:
At the meeting, I messed up while connecting to the projector and showed my desktop briefly; afterward, a lady came up and asked me if that had been my daughter, and what happened.
So I got to ruin her day. Yeah, she asked, but I still feel bad about it. The same thing happens whenever someone asks if we have any kids.
Sure wish I could see a way around this.