Day 2730: Staring at the Sun

Staring at the Sun: Overcoming the Terror of Death is a book I’ve stared at many times.


Yesterday, when I was staring at my son in the midday sun …


… I got the very sad, unexpected, and darkening news that my long-time friend Eleanor had passed away.

Eleanor, who was described in an online memorial as “sunshine, determination, kindness, humor, a keen mind and a really great friend” brought the sun into my life for over 45 years.  Here’s a portion of her obituary:

Eleanor was a caring and giving person, made up of pure love and light, and left nothing but warmth and care with everyone who knew her. She had a contagious smile and strong will. She was the sun on a dark day, the cool breeze on a hot day. The twinkle in her eyes could warm the darkest, most inner part of anyone’s soul. We now have another angel on our side to help us fight for peace, which is what she always wanted. May her spirit continue to guide us through this life, and always remind us to live and lead with our heart. There will be a private ceremony. To make donations in Eleanor’s honor please consider Project Bread,, the Kestrel Land Trust, or the Equal Justice Institute

Eleanor last commented on this blog on Mother’s Day:

And this mother thanks you for all your posts over the years – what I look forward to each day to amuse me, inspire me, make me ponder, and just enjoy.
Peace and love to you

Eleanor was a caring and loving friend who gave me advice, cards, tickets to wonderful events,  rides to appointments when I was dealing with health issues,  and — during rain and shine —  her fabulous company (described here, here, herehere, here, here, here, here, and here,). We talked about cats, haircuts, food, work, politics, children, husbands, other people, social justice, the present, the past, the future, love, and everything else under the sun.

Whenever I asked her if I could put her picture in my blog, she’d say, “Some day.  Not yet.” I can picture the sunshine of her kind, curious, and loving face, right now.

Eleanor gave me these avocado socks …

… and I believe that the last time I saw her we had avocado toast, dining under the sun at a cafe near the shore.  There was such synchronicity and connection between us, we often finished each other’s sentences.

I took many photos yesterday, staring at the sun and the new reality that my long-time friend Eleanor had passed on.










That last photo of a couple staring at the sun makes me think about Eleanor’s husband, Ira, who sent me the email yesterday about her passing.  May her memory be a comfort to him, her two children, and all who loved her.

As always, I’m staring at gratitude for all I have, here and now.


Categories: in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

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38 thoughts on “Day 2730: Staring at the Sun

  1. My condolences. Your sunset pictures and the book title are a fitting comment

  2. I’m so sorry to hear of the passing of your dear friend Eleanor, Ann. May Ira and all of her family and friends find sunshine and peace at the memories of their many magnificent shared moments.

  3. I’m sorry for your loss Ann and for that of all her family and friends.

  4. Dreamer9177

    Sorry to hear that you have lost your friend

  5. I’m sorry for your loss Ann, my condolences.

  6. Ann I’m so sorry to learn that you’ve lost your friend Eleanor. Sympathy and hugs.

  7. So sorry for the loss of your friend. She sounds like a neat person. I’m glad you walked together on your journey. Your sunset pictures are peaceful and a nice way to say goodbye. Take care.

  8. puella33

    Dear Ann, I’m so sorry to hear about your, friend, Eleanor. I send you my utmost sympathies.

  9. Debbie T

    So sorry for your loss.

  10. I’m very sorry to hear about the loss of Eleanor. Oddly enough when I saw the title of this post I didn’t think of Yalom’s book but a novel by Julian Barnes, also called Staring At The Sun, that follows a woman through three phases of her life.

  11. I am always sad and mournful when I hear of a friend passing. Or, like you, a friend of a friend. I have to admit death frightens me — mine, and everyone around me. I know it’s the price we pay for life and all that, but I’d rather not deal with it until I have no other choice. I am sorry for your loss.

  12. I’m so sorry about the loss of your friend, ann. your sunsets perfectly illustrate her passing.

  13. I’m so sorry to hear the passing of your dear friend Eleanor, Ann. You are truly blessed to have had such an amazing friendship for 45 years. May the beautiful memories of her continue to shine on you and warm your heart. Sending you big bear hugs, ʕっ•ᴥ•ʔっʕっ•ᴥ•ʔっʕっ•ᴥ•ʔっʕっ•ᴥ•ʔっʕっ•ᴥ•ʔっ

  14. Maureen

    Ann, I am so sorry about the death of your very dear friend. There are tears in my eyes. What a loss.

    Your tribute here is beautiful.

  15. ❤️

  16. Ahhh, Ann, I am so very sorry for your loss. Eleanor truly sounds like a wonderful soul. Your lovely photo homage is a fitting tribute to the light she obviously brought to your life and all of those she touched.

  17. I am sorry for the sunshine that is gone but thank you for sharing your heart with us, Ann.

  18. Pingback: Day 2770: _________ People | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  19. Pingback: Day 2924: What counts | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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