We lost a friend this week.

Just a terrific woman, Carol Thurm. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer recently, and it took her life so quickly. She and her husband, Joel, are about the same age as my parents. They’re from the same part of New York as my family and Joel knows some of my family’s doctors. They even have a daughter named Stacey. Needless to say, I’m pretty fond of them.

It’s hard to write about this in the past tense.

Last night Slade & I paid a Shiva call to their home. In the Jewish faith, when someone passes away, the family will “sit Shiva” in their home. Shiva means seven and you are supposed to observe this mourning time for that many days. Generally, the family will gather in one home and receive visitors, but it’s so much more than that. You can learn more here.

During the prayer service, Joel read a beautiful speech he’d written about Carol. It was wonderful and touching and funny and made us all cry. They’d been married for more than 40 years.

Last year, we had a great idea to have a Chanukah dinner in our neighborhood. Carol took charge. We thought it might be a small get together for a few families. Carol seemed to know everybody. She handled the invitations, organization, dinner planning and candle lighting at our club. We had something more than 50 people there! It was a special night and it happened thanks to Carol. I’m sure we’ll have it again this year, but to me, it will always be her event.

I miss her already.