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Simple kindness

Thirty-five years ago Rebecca and I spent our junior year of college in Florence, Italy, with 90 other students. We explored, we pondered, we traveled, and we studied. Friendships grew deep.

Last week we received an e-mail telling of the death of a classmate's mother. We receive these announcements frequently now.

And no matter who we defined as pals decades ago, our common-life passages link all 92 of us, our "community across time."  In these moments, we respond to each other with empathy and condolences. And that kindness does ease the grief, acknowledge our loss.  

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.