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What Will You Miss in Dying?

So much time and so little to do. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it. Thank you. - Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka

Willy Wonka died on the August 29th, 2016, due to complications with Alzheimer’s. He was 83. I was sad to hear of his passing, as Gene Wilder was a favorite actor of mine. To be sure, 2016 has been unkind to the greats: David Bowie, Prince, Elie Wiesel, Muhammad Ali, Morley Safer, Alan Rickman, and many more. Then again, Wilder is with his love once again. Gilda Radner died of ovarian caner back in 1989, twenty-seven long years ago. Wilder remarried after her death, but I doubt he stopped loving her, or missing her.

I wonder what I might miss when I die. The heat of a chana masala, the cool slip of water on my skin, the sound of cat purr--the tiny motor of it when Luna sits on my chest. I would certainly miss the quiet of night and moonlight on my face. The velvet bite of red wine. My family and friends, I will miss them, but I know I will see them again. Perhaps it will be in a different form, but I believe our loved ones come to us again and again as we circle through time. This life as a friend, next time a lover or a child or a mother.

I will miss the pull to write and the tired satisfaction of a day’s hard work in the garden. I will miss the sound of laughter and rain and beautiful music. And I will miss the feel of my feet on the earth. But who knows, I might just prefer dancing on night clouds. Willy Wonka reminds me to think big: *We* are the music makers... and *we* are the dreamers of dreams.

Thank you and aloha, Mr. Wilder. You made the world a better place.

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