A Surprising Obituary

Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

I was reading a New York Times obituary yesterday and came across one about a famous linguistics professor who died two weeks ago. He had the unique gift of writing beautifully for lay people as well as linguists. Like many writers he loved words, their unique twists, the changes in their meaning with time and the like.

I read he was a fellow Californian teaching and writing in Northern, CA. Then as the Times often does the obit writer addressed the man’s early life. I read his date of birth. It was exactly the same as mine. I was stunned. My heart dropped into my stomach.

I suppose the odds against that occurrence were large. I enjoy the obits and had read hundreds of them. Never had the decedent been born even close to my own date of birth. I guess it just brought home how imminent my own death…

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