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No Man is an Island


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John Donne had it right 400 years ago. In recent months we have lost Fathers, Mothers and Wives, friends, students, mentors, dogs and cats. And in this virtual world full of people, most of whom we can't put a face to, we share their loss but perhaps more importantly, we seem to also share the fond memories of which we have no direct knowledge.

I had not mentioned it before but now seems as good a time as any to mention I lost my mother several months ago and my bullmastiff two weeks ago. Each of these hurt, but it amazes me the loss of Dougs wife, Robs father and Merlins cat hurt just as much.

"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated...As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness....No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

John Donne Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, Meditation XVII

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