I Do Not Want to Write This
I had it all planned. Having caught up with my end-of-year assignments and Christmas card list, I would sit down and add to my shamefully neglected blog a eulogy of the famous people who passed away in the latter part of this year.
There was Phyllis Diller, the first and still the greatest stand-up comedienne, so ubiquitous on TV in the Sixties that she virtually qualified as one of my childhood playmates. And Neil Armstrong, the man who walked on the moon, exemplar of a grand and peculiarly American style of heroism. And Gore Vidal, the acerbic political gadfly who, as the 20th Century slid uneasily into the 21st, sounded more and more like a prophet. And Ravi Shankar, who taught George Harrison the sitar and made the wiry, sinuous sounds of Indian classical music familiar to the Western world. And Dave Brubeck, who made 5/4 time resound in every household and added immeasurably to the language of jazz.
These were all people who were in their own ways admirable, who once again validated the cliche of having made the world a little better for having lived in it.
All people who lived long, full lives.
And then came the news from Connecticut.
What potential Phyllis Dillers, Neil Armstrongs, Dave Brubecks did we lose on Dec. 14?
Whenever and wherever a child says, "Please don't let me die. All I want is Christmas," it seems inappropriate, even obscene, to write about anything else.
What else is left to say? Only John 11:35: "Jesus wept."