At age 70, I’m (no surprise to anyone), feeling the hurt of friends, colleagues, and relatives dying. Or as I call it in lighter moments, making the big transition. Nothing “light” about it, of course. It’s most likely the major challenge of living. Seeing and in cases, being a part of loved ones passing. This beautiful exchange between Red and Andy from the 1994 film The Shawshank Redemption brings me some comfort.

RED: I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice. Still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they’re gone. I guess I just miss my friend.

ANDY: Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.