A man I was greatly attached to passed out of this life last night, quietly and without struggle, in a bed in his own living room where he belonged, surrounded by his wife and children. I took this photo of him many years ago at the Oregon Coast. I knew him well and to me, the sight of such an industrious and practical man engaged in an activity that had no purpose other than the doing of it — the enjoying of it — struck me as a joyous rarity I wanted to record.
Throughout the day his friends and family who were within a day’s hard ride all came to his bedside to say their names, speak their love for him, stroke his limp hand, and give him permission to go. He could no longer respond, but it is known that hearing is the last of the senses to shut down, so visitors were encouraged to simply say anything they wished him to understand before he departed for Distant Shores. Most called him Bill, though a few called him Will or Willard.
I called him Dad. Someday I’ll tell you all about him.