Dear Sheila

I was so sorry to hear of Patrick’s death just now at the 10 a.m. Mass at St. Paul the Apostle Church. The priest who said the Mass, announced his death. He said Patrick had died at midnight and that he’d had a very brief illness and that he was a St. Paul’s Church member. In trying to give a physical description of Patrick to the church members present the priest mentioned that Patrick had prominent hair. I loved Patrick’s beatnik style hair as of lately more than ever. It suited him so well. He could have been mistaken for a musician and to me that’s the ultimate compliment.

I’m so glad that I knew Patrick. Although it was a more casual acquaintance situation, we were for years together in your Zen sitting and he was always there and always true to Zen. This fact made me feel good.
His gentle way, his subtle humor and his steadiness were endearing. I felt very badly lately as Patrick clearly was becoming more frail. He was most cherished in our Zen group. I respected him and as he was changing into this more fragile time of his life, I was learning how important it is to respect and allow those around us to continue to live and do all the things that they wish to do and can do.

I’ve been having my own health issues at the same time that Patrick was having his. They were 2 separate lives but I shared the difficulty in walking less well with Patrick. It’s not easy to accept.

I think of you and know that it must be hard to lose this wonderful, dear, friend and colleague at Fordham who you have known for so long. I think that lately when you went to your Birthday dinner with Patrick and were just talking on the phone with him and when you were leading your Zen Sitting with Patrick and us…God gave you many special moments with him before he died. I’m so happy that you had Patrick in your life at this time of your new retirement. He was rooting for you to just do whatever you wished and in your own way and he was so loyal to you. You were very lucky to know this very, very kind man.

So please let me know how you are and if there is anything that I can do to lighten your burden. I’m here for you if you need me. I’ll be praying for you each day.