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When a Lifelong Friend Dies

Bill and his grandson, Jad In half-dream last night I saw him in sunlight as an eagle and I must have been the hawk riding the thermals above  the Applegate hills. Wind ruffled our feathers and seemed to blow right through us as we circled. Those cries are all the words, I thought, hearing the birds' cries echoing off the ridges of the Buncom Bowl. It was the sound that bound us. Our feathered wings never touched.  It is a rare privilege to have had a friend like Bill Cunningham. He died this week--January 12th. I knew he'd fly soon, but one never really experiences death of a loved one until it happens. For half our lives we had lived a continent apart and saw each other only once, a few years ago when he made the trip west. But all that time, writers that we both were, Bill and I shared our souls in words.  I met Bill in the early 1970s just after I had left the convent and he was one of the priests at the University of Minnesota Newman Center. He resembled a Hoffman Jesus an

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