There are quite a number of people whose departure from this life to the next has saddened me in some way this year. I guess, just as you can't predict when someone is going to go, you can't really predict when it's going to hit you. Or hit you again.
Last night I dreamed that I was invited to see Lloyd's house. I'm pretty sure he didn't live in a British terraced house (known as a row-house to us Yanks) relocated to Pennsylvania, but if he had, it might have looked like the one in my dream. In my dream I walked up the steps, through the front door, and straight to the back of the house where his study was. Somehow I knew that was where his study was. The door, which had one of those textured-glass windows in it, was ajar, and the light was on.
I entered slowly, reverently, almost expecting Lloyd to be sitting in there, working on a book. Someone was in there--one of the publishers or somebody who had been involved in getting me there--and everything seemed to be exactly as Lloyd had left it and exactly as I had expected it . . . but Lloyd himself wasn't there at all. I thought how ironic it was that I had actually been invited to his house but had never gotten to meet him in person. And I started to sob.
Clearly this dream was triggered by something I got in the mail yesterday, which I didn't read until I got home from work at 11.30pm. It was an invitation from a publisher to "light refreshments" at an establishment in New York City, in honour of Lloyd. I had half-imagined that someone might have found out about me while going through Lloyd's paraphernalia, but I didn't really expect anyone to do anything about it. I was kind of stunned and overwhelmed and flattered.
A publisher is going to be there. And some literary agents. I went to bed wondering if it would be totally tacky to go network at an event in memory of someone who had fairly recently died. But I guess my reasons for going wouldn't be entirely mercenary. I think the dream proved it.