remembering DennisePosted: December 17, 2015
I was not expecting to be writing a second remembrance within the same month, but here I am doing exactly that.
Our holiday letter to my long-time friend Dennise was returned “Not deliverable as addressed — Unable to forward.” An email I sent to her did not bounce, but searches on Facebook and LinkedIn turned up nothing. I hesitated doing a Google search, because of what I feared the result would be. But I did do a Google search.
My fears were founded. In the top ten results were at least three obituaries. I didn’t try to count. Opening two of those obituaries confirmed it was the Dennise that I knew. (How many people with that name spell it with two n’s?)
It turns out that she died in November 2014. Now I know why I didn’t get her usual comprehensive and creatively-written holiday letter last year.
Dennise and I were hired as technical writers at about the same time but completely independently of each other in 1995 at a company called Verity, which no longer exists. We shared an office until we moved to new facilities where our cubes were right next to each other. As it turned out we shared many of the same values spiritually, and we stayed in touch, however intermittently, after I left Verity in 1997.
Dennise was, if you believe in such things, an old soul. She was at her core a pagan, and she joyously celebrated the Winter Solstice. But she loved the liturgy at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco and the values the institution stood for. She also loved the Christmas Eve Midnight Eucharist there. Meanwhile I was at the time moving from Religious Science to the Episcopal Church. We had many interesting conversations, both in person and via email.
I will miss Dennise. Let light perpetual shine upon her.