Not long after I posted the picture of Julia Cabaniss Hayden, my brother-in-law died. Hours later, in fact, much to our shock and dismay, he passed away quietly in his sleep. No real physical reason for his passing, the doctors said. They couldn't figure out what sent him on his way to his next experience. They were as shocked as we were. He was only 66.
I am sure he decided it was time to go onward. I believe we have to give our consent to pass into the next phase of our existence, and he was worried that his time here was going to become hampered and uncomfortable. He didn't want to be a burden on anyone. Diabetes was getting him down, and he was tired of fooling with it. Two days earlier, he'd had to put down one of his beloved Cornish Rex cats. Nothing felt right. So he made up his mind to leave us. With no wife, no children, and a cold, gray winter, he must have felt as if checking out was the sane thing .
We buried him in the family plot in Illinois, where the deep snow and ice had to be plowed aside to make room for him. I told him he'd better run when he sees me coming in the next life, because he's in deep trouble with me.
Believe me, next time I see him, he's going to get a piece of my mind. A big chunk of it, in fact. We miss him. A lot.