I have sorrowful news this night.
My beloved lord and husband, Lochlainn MacGregor, died this afternoon at the age of 43. We believe an inherited heart defect struck him in his sleep as he napped after a run. He appears to have died peacefully and without pain. When I found him after I got home from work, it was already too late to do anything for him.
Thus far I can write relatively calmly. It all still has a sense of unreality. There is a part of me that kept waiting, even as the paramedics shook their heads, even as the police waited with me for the coroner, kept waiting for him to suddenly open his eyes and demand to know what all the noise was about. That portion of me, even now, keeps waiting to hear him come into the room, or call to me to join him.
I don't know how long it will take for that portion of me to absorb the truth. It may never.
Lochlainn wasn't always easy to get along with. He spoke his mind and was impatient with political correctness. He could be rude and abrasive, especially in the presence of lax thinking. He was impatient of poor design and slipshod quality. But anyone who cared to listen, who honestly wanted to learn something, always could get his attention.
Lochlainn CARED. He cared passionately about the things he did and the people he called his friends. He was fundamentally incapable of doing anything by half measures. Sometimes this caused him more grief than good; but his good was very good indeed.
He loved children and had a knack for teaching. It was always a grief to him that life had not given him any children of his own. But he took my daughter into his heart and could not have been more proud of her. He gave a number of years to the Cub Scouts and had many good friends among the children of his friends. He loved animals of all sorts, from the field mouse who inhabited our porch last winter to dinosaurs and mammoths and creatures of the deep. He fed the local squirrels and rabbits, and wanted eventually to learn to ride a horse and to scuba dive the Australian reefs. He loved the wildernesses of the world, forest and desert and ocean.
Dan taught me many things. The most important was to hang onto your dreams with both hands, never give them up, keep fighting and striving and trying because nothing ever happens if you give up. He taught me to take life in big bites, not timid nibbles. He taught me to find a strength in myself that I never knew I had.
Friends, I trust you will forgive me for sending this via e-mail instead of calling each of you personally as you deserve. I'm sure you understand that I have many things I must now take care of in the next few days. As soon as I know what the arrangements will be, I will let everyone know. I daresay my sleep schedule will be somewhat disarranged for the next while, so don't worry if I don't answer the phone--I may have simply turned it off for the duration.
Please lift a glass to his memory, or say a prayer if you're so inclined. He was a good man.
As I sit here at the computer, the skies have opened to a heavy rain. Even the outdoors he loved, it seems, weeps for his passing. As--finally--do I.