I just found out. Randy passed away. I could have easily written that he died. But I prefer the euphemism “passed away.” The word die is too powerfully sad and I am not adverse to using it at times. And besides, death is not always the worst event in one’s life. Suffering is. I have kept a blog posting about Randy unpublished for months now. I just noticed it. Now’s the time to complete it.
I did not know Randy very well–yet ironically I believe I did. What I mean is that I met him two years ago on a golf trip. He was a friend of a friend– a fellow physician from Connecticut. We only interacted over a 4 day period in Hilton Head, South Carolina. I liked him very much. Everyone did. He was extremely bright, witty, could sing a cappella and was a hell of a golfer.
Randy was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor but showed up last fall for another golf trip, this time to Greenbrier in West Virginia. He had changed. His personality was different. He was now introverted and quiet. He could still sing but with less vigor. His clever sense of humor was unexpressed. All of this was a consequence of the cancer advancing on his brain tissue. Everyone else on the trip understood the situation. No one spoke of it until John, an old friend of Randy, a former golfer arrived. We had never met but did speak briefly about Randy’s condition. John showed up just to see Randy and the other golfers.
I had the opportunity to spend a brief moment with Randy on our last day when we had to rush to make the flight back home. By chance he was sitting next to me in the golf cart as we hurried to avoid an incoming storm. Although on this trip he never initiated conversation, now he did. ” I had a really great time.” It was a brief but spontaneous remark. I was stunned. I’m not sure how I responded. Perhaps I said, “yeah, me too.”
Randy died this week. There, I wrote it. I didn’t know his condition before his passing but suspect he was comatose, no longer conscious and certainly not who he was. Perhaps he was suffering, hopefully not, but I’m sure everyone who knew and loved him were. He is at peace and I pray his loved -ones will be soon.
Our annual golf trip is coming up. It will be named after Randy. I know he will be there.