Losing our loved ones

My parents died in the same week in spring 2007, and the feeling of loss has been difficult as an “only child” and caregiver. I’m sending my thoughts this week to Kerry Minard Martinez of San Diego and her sister Kathy Van Orden of Redondo Beach — my (BFF) best friends forever — long before it became a social-media word. We grew up together as next-door neighbors in the Los Angeles area, and they were more like sisters than just friends —a learning necessity for a boy who is an “only child.” We went to grade school together; wrote in coloring books together “Look, Jeffrey is coloring with both hands”; and swam in the ocean and built sand castles together on summer vacations at San Diego (photo, circa ’60s). Now Kerry and Kathy are coping with grief in their family: They lost a beloved aunt and uncle this spring, and now are grieving with their ailing dad in hospice. They have been exemplary caregivers to their dad in recent years. “Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.” — Patti Smith

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

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