I was so sad when her death at the age of 71 was announced this week. But the accolades from her friends were so touching, so warm that it was almost a pleasure to read her obituary. Now I know it was pretty unlikely that someone was going to say to The Times “She was a total cow and I couldn’t stand her.” But still, if I receive even a fraction of that kind of praise when I go, I will be a happy corpse.
In her book “I Remember Nothing”, she wrote lists of things she would miss and things she wouldn’t. I think one of life’s important lessons when we lose someone is being reminded how little time we really do have and how precious this world is. So I have written my own two lists.
What I Won’t Miss
Doctor’s visits of any kind
Always being unhappy about my looks
Rampant social injustice
Those horrible big buzzing beetles that somehow get past your screens on summer nights
Actually, all bugs. Screw the ecosystem.
People with no sense of humor
Knowing there is an audience for programs such as “Housewives of ….[fill in the blank]
Customer service reps who clearly hate people and don’t give a rat’s ass about your problem
Mean spirited, ugly comments after newspaper articles online
What I Will Miss
My children and grandchildren
My sweet little dog
Writing and the sheer joy of words
My spectacular, funny, giving, loving friends
My cousin Steve, the embodiment of kindness to me my entire life
The sound of the ocean
Fabric and the potential in every yard
Macaroni and cheese
Lemons piled in a blue bowl
Lily of the Valley
The New York City skyline
Getting a package unexpectedly
A fresh pedicure with bright red polish
A soft, pastel linen shirt on a hot summer evening
Cuddling under a quilt I made myself, made in colors that simply make me happy
The antique pearls my mother gave me
What would your lists be?
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