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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Eerie coincidences

A bit of a postscript to my post the other day about my online friend who died last week.

Over the course of commiserating with other online friends who knew Gummy well, I learned that his last full name was Gregory Twyman. With this piece of information and my knowledge that he lived in the Pittsburgh area, I was able to find Gregory's obituary in the Pittsburgh newspapers. What was odd was that I happened to glance down the page of obits and saw another name that I knew.

My grandmother on my father's side was a schoolteacher, many years ago, in a Pittsburgh school district. Now, all the time I knew her she'd been retired, but by trade that's what she had been: a teacher. I come, actually, from a long line of teachers -- in fact, I'm almost the odd one out in not being a teacher myself. But anyway, my grandmother had a friend named Esther Yessel. I only met Esther a single time that I remember, when she and my grandmother both visited us in the first years we lived in Western New York. This was around 1982 or 1983, I suppose.

Well, my grandmother turned 80 in 1986, and she died about six months later. In truth, I suppose I've generally assumed that Esther had also died sometime since then -- but it turned out that she only passed away last week, at the age of 95. That was utterly stunning to me -- not that she had been alive all those years (more than twenty since my grandmother's passing), but that she died only last week, and that only by virtue of looking for my friend's obituary did I learn of Esther's own death.

What a spooky, spooky world.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I almost always find someone I know, or someone related to someone I know, when I read the obituaries. This is true of the Austin and San Angelo, Texas, newspapers, even though I live in San Marcos. I think it is that "small world" phenomenon, and the fact that I lived over 40 years and gotten to know a lot of people over that time.