Fatalism wins again

I’ve written about fatalism several times here before. I pay attention to events that end lives prematurely, for two reasons: to grieve in some remote, inconsequential way with those who were left behind, and to remind myself to enjoy and celebrate life in the broadest sense. Tomorrow will come for most people, but it is not promised to anyone.

For many years, I read a column in the Chicago Sun-Times written by Jeffrey Zaslow called “All that Zazz.” A clever little play on words, which I’m sure was useful in helping people to find his column in the first place.

The column stopped appearing a decade ago, about the time people quit reading newspapers. I’m only partially kidding about that. Zaslow kept writing, though, and helped the pilot of the “Miracle on the Hudson” affair to tell his story. But it all ended for him yesterday on a snowy road in Michigan. He was 53 years old. Terrible, yes, but proof once again of Shakespeare’s words in Hamlet: “There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, rough hew them as we will.”

I join in the grief of those who read Mr. Zaslow’s words in print. The world needs all the great writers it can get, and those ranks have now been diminished. But I will remember his passing as a reminder of how important it is to enjoy and appreciate life for as long as I’m fortunate enough to have it.

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