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Thoughts on learning
from life's losses

Dear Jon,

The recent death of my father [Thomas Hawksworth] was the first time I'd lost someone so important, and integral to my life.

I just got through reading the story about your brother, and found it to be so heartfelt and thought provoking. My deepest sympathies for your family's loss, and I know how heart wrenching it must have been to write it. Writing my dad's obituary was one of the hardest things I've ever done. With nine brothers and sisters, and the hell raising we all did while younger, it amazes me none of us have had to suffer through the death of a sibling. To lose a child, has to be the most unimaginable pain, and I have so much respect and awe for any parent who survives this horrific loss.

Friends and acquaintances seem to have a fear of not saying the "right thing" in such circumstances, or upsetting someone, or even calling at a wrong time. There are no "right times," and it's so comforting to know someone cares, and understands, even if it's a card or note. These are things that are precious to a family suffering a loss, and they will never be forgotten, and most will be stored away in a box with many other items and remembrances.

One word I'm not sure I'll ever understand is "closure." It sounds so final, as if it's all over now. The last chapter of a book, as being read and closed. I prefer thinking of it as a new way of handling a loss, as they will always be an everyday part of our lives, whether consciously or not. Having known them, changed us forever.

Thank you for sharing your brother's life with us, and his "ripple" has even reached a heart all the way out here in Oklahoma.

Take care,
Maggie Hackler

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