There was nothing particularly unusual or newsworthy about my father-in-law’s death at age 84. Even so, it was unsettling, given that until his diagnosis of stage four cancer on March 1, he had been living alone in his home and was seemingly healthy—and that despite his doctor’s prognosis of having several months to live, he died after only three more weeks.
This brief time offered some wonderful gifts. First and not least was an opportunity for final visits with children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He never lost his sense of humor, and he conveyed a sense of peace and contentment that was striking to all of us.