In the last few days, I have received some sad news.
On Wednesday, I learned that a co-worker who had been critically injured in a car accident last August died a week ago in a longterm care facility to which she had been transferred. She was a gentle soul and a kind heart. She was my age.
Today, I received an e-mail informing me that one of my colleagues in the children's sports program that I volunteer for had succumbed to cancer. He was a few years older than I am. He was a physical fitness fanatic, and a consummate athlete, but his finely honed body "betrayed" him in spite of his doing "everything right". This isn't the first time that a friend in the bloom of a strong middle age died shockingly young. The important thing to do now is to rally around his young son.
It's a tragedy to lose two friends so young, especially in such a short period of time. My reaction to loss is stoicism- while I was still in my teens, I lost three friends in a weekend... two to accidents, one to leukemia. I learned at a young age how to deal with tragedy, so I'll provide the stiff upper lip and the broad shoulder for others to cry on. For me, it's more about keeping the memory of my friends alive, and lending moral support to their survivors than it is about mourning.