Easily one of my favorite writers died today. I read the three books he published (a small number compared to some, but keep in mind he started writing at 66 years old.).
Frank McCourt died today, Sunday July 19th. I knew he was sick the last couple days and was trying to prepare myself for the news but had hoped in vain that somehow he'd pull through for a full more days....a few more weeks.
I've cried a few times over it...more then anyone else who has ever died that I have known (I never met him, but feel I knew him). My life is a bit untouched by death. Most of my grandparents died before I got to meet them and when my one grandfather who I met died, I felt I hardly knew him.
But I knew Frank McCourt...or at least the part of him he allowed his readers to know. From his youth in Limerick, Ireland to his adult life in New York as both a worker and then on becoming a teacher. I followed his story and wanted to know more.
I had hoped to meet him...maybe get my three books signed...maybe ask for advice (about writing, living and laughing...I felt he could guide me in all three).
I am grieving having never met him and not being able to tell him how much I enjoyed his words.
But I am consoled in a small way....and likely an insignificant way to everyone else. Before he died, he said, "I don't want funeral services or memorials. Let them scatter my ashes over the Shannon and pollute the river."
I know he wasn't talking to me or about me but instead the famous river in Ireland that he even cursed in his books so often. But somehow...him saying my name gives me solace and I feel graced to know he even uttered my name, whether he knew it or not.
And perhaps one day I will visit Ireland, go to Limerick and view the river he loved to hate.