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ington DC, the city was in shock for several days. Why? After all, the city had been dubbed the murder capital of the United States, and victims of violent crime die there virtually every day—sometimes a half-dozen a night. Yet radio talk-show hosts devoted entire mornings or afternoons to Brenner’s death. The newspaper covered it in every issue for a week. One television station ran a half-hour memorial program.
The city was stunned by the suddenness of the death. It forced people to remember that death doesn’t always wait until we’re 95. Sometimes it sneaks up on us in our forties. As people called talk shows to express their shock, they repeated a familiar refrain: “It was so sudden; so unexpected. He was so young, in such good health, and then all of a sudden…I just can’t believe it.”
Brenner - Marathon - Brain - Tumor - Life
Brenner had recently completed a marathon. He was young, healthy, humorous, and successful, but all of that became irrelevant when a brain tumor took his life. Death didn’t take into account his cardiovascular capability. It didn’t inquire about the number of children still depending on him or his vocational success or how beloved he was in the capital city. Death doesn’t ask questions; it doesn’t review résumés. It just comes.
The city was unsettled by death’s rude intrusion into its life. Denial was no longer possible, and people were forced to consider that maybe there’s more to life than we have been told. Maybe we need to make some inquiries and answer a few questions before death comes to knock on our door.
Peek - Obituaries - Look - Ages - Age
Every now and then we sneak a peek at the obituaries and look at the ages of those who have died. When we see somebody our own age or even younger, we involuntarily wince. We grope for the cause of death—please don’t...
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