The death of a spouse: A story told through the internet

In our January magazine, I lamented the demise of printed newspapers, proving that I’m obviously old-school in terms of my daily reading habits. A number of you, primarily middle-aged sorts from what I could gather, sent me your thoughts and general agreement that the ability to rummage through actual newspaper somehow makes stumbling across little and unexpected tidbits of information easier.

Well, today I’m here with the other side of the story: I happened to check my Facebook page this morning after reading an emailed post by a national sales guru about using Facebook in selling, and there on my “wall” was a brief note from my college roommate (one of CNN’s first 20 employees way back when) linking to a sad and humbling story written by another college classmate and fellow Daily Northwestern editor talking about the relatively quick and unexpected death of his wife and how that journey impacted their three sub-college-age sons.

I haven’t talked to this guy, now an editor with the New York Times, in a couple of years, and when we did get together at a college reunion, it was just before his wife became terminally ill.

But without the wonders of the internet, I wouldn’t have stumbled across this unexpected gem. Be forewarned, though: This story is a tear-jerker. And it’s one I apparently missed while doing my usual newspaper page-reading shuffle.


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