Martha Callahan called me to let me know that Charlie passed away this afternoon.
I was able to talk to him for a little while last week when he was moved to hospice. He didn't want anyone to blog about it until after he was gone. Charlie, being Charlie, didn't want us to fret over him. Martha has asked me to write a little something to let all his friends know.
I met Charlie when I started my blog 6 years ago. He was my first friend in blogland. We bonded over a mutual loathing of Nora Roberts and her writing, if you can believe it. :-) Although we've never met in person, we've talked on the phone from time to time over the years.
During a conversation after Christmas, he wanted his blog friends to know how much you meant to him. He hadn't been able to get out and around for quite a while, and having you in his life became a whole new world. And near the end, during our last conversation, he was thinking of us---people he'd never met in real life---but people who brought a lot of joy to him.
I looked around for an appropriate poem or quote to use for this---something solemn and deep and meaningful. But every time I found a poem with possibilities, I could just hear him snorting into my ear, "what a load of crap!"
So what would Charlie have said? I imagine it would have been something like "See, I told you I was sick!" That would have been more his style, smartass that he was.
There's an old Inuit legend that talks about the stars in the night sky. "Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy."
I want to remember you with that, Charlie.
Tonight I'm going to go outside and tell the stars how much I'm going to miss you. I hope you can hear me.
Godspeed, my dear, dear friend.
If anyone wants to say words in celebration of Charlie's life, I'm sure it will be a comfort to Martha.
Blessings to all,
Attila the Mom