A number of people who knew, or knew of, Carol Hurst have sent comments to me after hearing of her death. I'll pass those along to her two daughters and they'll be grateful. I remember that after my son was killed, in 1995, many strangers wrote to tell me of an encounter with him, a difference he had made in their lives. It was very touching...still is...to hear stories I had never heard, descriptions of things he had taught them, ways he had made them laugh. Now I am hearing the same things about Carol. There is comfort in knowing that memories remain not only with oneself but with the world. Things live on, and matter.

I have a close friend whose sister, Liza, died quite suddenly the same day that Carol did. My friend e-mailed yesterday and said, "I picture Liza frolicking in the heather with a fabulous red-headed Irishman. What do you think Carol is doing?"

I'd like to think that there is some kind of heaven somewhere that issues laptops to newcomers. That's how I'd picture Carol: with a cup of coffee, early in the morning, typing in my e-mail address. Hers was always my first e-mail of the day. It was always just two words: Up yet?