Friday, January 15, 2016

You Can't Prepare Yourself for the Arrival of Sad News

Lawrence D. Longo
There was a time when you could be more prepared for sad news.  You had the expectation that you could find a familiar name when you read the Obituary section of the newspaper.  You aren't prepared when you strike up a conversation with a fellow passenger on an airplane.  Anymore, I don't strike up much of a conversation when I travel by air, but I had noticed that my seat mate was carrying a brief case with a trauma surgeon meeting logo on it.  Since I have spent a good portion of my career working with and training human surgeons, I was curious to know more.  I introduced myself as a professor at Western University of Health Sciences.  He told me he was a surgeon at Loma Linda University Medical Center.  I shared that I had started my career at Loma Linda.  I said, "Do you know Larry Longo?"  The surgeon's face looked stricken, "I am am so sorry to tell probably haven't heard, it just happened...I am sorry to tell you that Larry has...has passed.  It was just this week."  He was so distressed.  I was saddened to be sure, but I was so glad to hear this news from someone who also knew Larry and not via an e-mail.  We shared Larry stories.  He told me that only two weeks ago Larry was encouraging this to convince this surgeon to think about a research project idea and that Larry would there to help develop the research and to collaborate.  That was totally the Larry Longo that I knew.   I feel so blessed to have had this very special moment of connection.

Veterinary Nomad  January 14, 2016