My friend Kevin Henderson died of cancer last week in Seattle. He was only 70 years old.
There was a time 70 was ancient. Not any more. In a world growing older, an active 90 seems increasingly normal and a death at 70 seems unspeakably premature. By 2050, 29.7% of our population is projected to be 85 and older. Choosing how to remember departed friends will be part of many Baby Boomers’ extended futures.
Kevin was a good man. He was a tenacious husband and father, an entrepreneurial businessman, attorney, student, and trusted confidant. He led a full life. He adored his greatest supporter, his wife Dee. He didn’t want to leave his sons or his grandchildren.
There are lots of ways I can remember him, but I’m choosing especially to remember Kevin through his laugh. It was a kind of full body giggle, often seeming to startle him in the same moment it surprised and pleased both of us. Hearing him laugh in my imagination brings him back vividly; the sensory memory is so intense it feels permanent.
For those of you exploring ways to remember those who have departed, I offer these steps:
- Load https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuRz__B3ZYE.
- While you are listening, please join me in sending Kevin James Henderson (and any others you choose) a wish for a peaceful journey.
- Think about ways of remembering loved ones in any way that’ll will be most meaningful for you. When the sadness fades, you may still find your connection to them strong and joyful.