Friday, May 8, 2009

If I should have done something different

In one of my prior blogflections, I discussed that it’s a daily ritual for most middle-age and elderly people to read obituaries and funeral notices in the morning newspaper. You can read about it here: Reading the obits

Well yesterday was no exception and during my morning read, I learned that a longtime client of mine recently passed away at the too young age of 51 years. He was an individual tax client who I only did work for once a year at tax time. In recent years, we didn't have face-to-face meetings because he'd mail his tax documents and information to me and I would mail him the completed tax returns.

This year, however, he did come into my office to bring me his tax documents and other information. As I greeted him and we engaged in middle-age man small talk, I looked deep in his eyes and saw a person who had aged a lot, did not appear to be healthy, and had a very strong smell of alcohol on his breath. It was a sad sight and left me feeling helpless as to what I should say or do. The rest of our brief and unscheduled meeting was limited to more middle-age man small talk and a how is your boy (son) doing question from me. He loved his 14-year son with all his heart. That was the last time we talked.

I’ll never ask and probably never know why his life ended so soon at the too young age of 51 years and, quite frankly, it's really none of my business. After reading his obit yesterday morning, I’ve been constantly thinking about the last time I saw him while asking myself if I should have done something different.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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