“It’s a magical kind of sadness, saying goodbye. A bit like preparing to travel again, but no longer together.”

Read Joe Hammond’s final article in the Guardian

Author Joe Hammond passed away recently at age 50 from motor neurone disease. He covers so much loss in his final article, particularly the loss of the future with his two young boys and wife.

Other losses are simpler and more incremental. Sometimes they are nothing more than adaptation and sometimes, like the loss of my voice, they are devastating. I lost my swallow very quickly. There was a three-week period when Gill made sure I had lots of really nice soups, and that was it. Food was a thing of the past. I’ve never got over that loss.

My grandpa on my dad’s side lost the ability to swallow years before he passed. When it started getting bad he could still have ice cream every once in a while, his favorite thing, and then no more. I find it almost impossible to imagine how hard that must have been, particularly for someone as social as him. He probably managed to stick around as long as he did because of my grandma. She was his college sweetheart, his always.

“She sprinkles flowers in the dirt / That’s when a thrill becomes a hurt”

Wanted some soulful-but-not-overly-corny tunes to work to so I put on a “song radio” Spotify station for music related to Gillian Welch’s “Look At Miss Ohio”, specifically the v. from Jimmy Carter: Man From Plains. First track to pop up was “That Day Is Done” with vocals by Elvis Costello and The Fairfield Four, Larry Knechtel on piano.

Oof, my heart…

The song was written by Elvis Costello and Paul McCartney, and it looks like it was originally released by Paul McCartney on his album Flowers In The Dirt. Personally, I prefer the Costello + Fairfield Four version. For a similar version, see live recording on YT. Related: see the history of The Fairfield Four, pretty exceptional. The group will soon be 100 yrs old.