the library

I heard someone say that when one of us passes….when one of us isn’t physically here on Earth anymore….that we “lose a library”.

I guess that what they mean is that all the knowledge goes away.

I don’t know about that, really.

Maybe it’s true….but in a lot of ways, I kind of doubt it.

The doors may be closed….but the knowledge sticks around….at least a little.

My friend’s father passed away over the weekend after a pretty long illness.

That’s a hard thing to lose a parent.

I don’t think there’s much that’s harder.

It’s hard to watch a parent experience pain or discomfort…..but the relief of the end to the discomfort never covers the sadness at the loss.

I guess that I can only speak for myself….but I can’t think of anything harder that I’ve been through than losing my own parents.

This man who “went away” over the weekend…..he was a main branch.

He was a main branch of the libraries.

When I talk to his son, I realize that the “library” isn’t gone, though….just like the “library” that was my own father isn’t really gone, either.

They live through us, I guess.

This man who isn’t physically here with us anymore….he was a smart man.

He was a smart man….and kind of a smarty pants, too.

My wife said, yesterday on the way home from Greenville, when we couldn’t figure out how to return Joel’s voicemail on her cell phone, that (talking about a nice visit we had with my friend’s parents when they stopped by our little house on one of their trips) she was really glad they stopped by…

It meant a lot to us that my friend’s parents came to see us.

“That was so nice of them to stop. I could see where Joel came from talking to his Dad….” she said.

Joel is a smarty pants, too.

That’s the beauty and strength of our long friendship….it’s a yin yang kind of relationship….Joel’s smarty-pantsedness and my steadfast clarity….my rootedness….

(Who am I kidding? We’re both smartypants…)

Losing my parents tore something inside of me.

I guess that’s what love does, maybe.

But loving them made everything that’s good inside of me, too.

No one is really ever gone.

We carry them.

I don’t know what to say to someone who’s lost a parent.

What do you say?

I don’t know.

Maybe just that you love them….and are thinking of them.

Maybe that’s all….and enough.




About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.


the library — 2 Comments

  1. Thanks Peter. Good to read. Here’s to all the roots, trunks, branches, and leaves of all our families.
    Cheers, JP