When we were young, I remember getting the sense that there were big secrets, things we didn't know and couldn't comprehend until we were older.
In my early 20s, I remember thinking that was nonsense.
And in my 30s, as I have lost each grandparent one after the other, I figured it out. The big secret. We're all going to watch each other die. Not in the abstract "people die" but in the real world, right here. You. Me. Everyone we know.
As I thought it, I wanted to share this secret with younger people I met and always stopped myself. They don't need to know it, I thought. Let them wait. Let them have the innocence. Those very things I heard as a child, but I understood them.
It's no longer so much of a secret. This disaster has brought the turbulent reality closer, has made it impossible to avoid: that anyone, at any time, can go. That we all will. Most likely, this reality is something we should all be facing and processing, and not shielding each other from.
Since February I have been waiting for the other shoe to drop — for someone I knew to pass from Covid. It hasn't happened yet, but someone I know has passed.
I didn't really know Toni Lane Casserly well. We met on the night of March 22, 2018 in Rincon, Puerto Rico and I was struck by her energy and charisma. I recorded this short video of her singing.
Life is short and precious. Let's be good to one another, spread love where we can, and take care of this planet.
Toni, may you rest in peace.