This is a gloomy post. Fast-forward if you aren't in the mood.
For much of my first four decades, I lived a rather charmed life, in one way: I had no friends or family who passed away.
Now I'm 44, and wow has that changed.
Several years ago, I lost my best friend, who passed away one night due to (they think) a heart ailment. He was 40.
My wife lost her best friend to epilepsy; she was in her 30s. Two people out of our small wedding party, gone.
Another close friend has a wife battling cancer. And this past week, I learned that another college buddy has weeks/months to live because of cancer as well.
For years my friends and I would get together on Saturday nights and play poker, something that continued whenever I returned to New York. Now, out of those 5 other regulars, one is dead, one is dying, and one has a wife in bad shape. And we're all in our mid-40s.
I never felt old, until now.
I'm still lucky. My parents are in their 70s, and still alive. And all their siblings (my dad has two sisters; my Mom has two brothers and a sister) are all still alive too. My brother and sister are doing fine; I have about 15 cousins, and none have passed away.
I'm not sure what the odds of that are, but it's pretty amazing.
Yet there seems to be something suddenly wrong with my generation, the small circle of my immediate longtime friends, and it's putting me into a funk.
Yesterday, director Anthony Minghella died. He was 54. I knew his daughter when I read for Miramax.
I know, life goes on, etc. But it still makes me sad, and I hate funerals.