Aubrey Allen Crawford died August 3 in the late afternoon after having lived for 96 years, four months and three days. His heart gave out. He was a father of five, grandfather to seven and great-grandfather of eleven.
Aubrey had been a psychologist for Oakland County 1970-1990, a Senior Training Specialist 1967-1970 for Area Technical and Training Center in Detroit, consultant for Sunrise Hospice in Alpena 1999-2003, consultant for Michigan State University in Alcona County 1992-2005. Journalist for the Alcona County Review 1996-2003, the
Hubbard Lake Journal 2003-2004. And for this paper. He was the chairman of the Alcona County Democratic Party 2003-2005. He was a private pilot, an assistant football coach for Alcona County High School, teacher and consultant for the University of Southern California, Indiana University, Wayne State University, Oakland University, Oakland Community College, the University of Detroit, the University of Windsor, and the Ohio Student Government. He was a minister in the United Methodist and Unitarian churches in Massachusetts, Ohio, California, Indiana, Michigan, from 1945-1968. He loved history and sought the clarity and truth of it.
Aubrey said, a few days before his death, that he wasn’t sure he was up for dying as it seemed so final. I am sure these were not his final words, and don’t know what they were, though I was with him. But I will share this poem I found among his writings. As you know, he was thoughtful and had a lot to say…thank you for listening to him.
You Can Hide From Life, But Not From Death, A. A. Crawford
Each decade takes something from us, vision dims, hearing isn’t dependable, Bones become brittle, muscles less elastic, Hope is difficult to sustain, dignity often evades us.
Still, the decades give us gifts–if we will accept them. Sometimes we see more clearly in dim vision, we may hear less and understand more. Our limbs grow weaker, yet we are stronger. Hearts flutter but courage does not vanish.
These gifts are offered even though we may refuse them. In becoming less we often are more. When we dare to open our eyes we see, And days do not overwhelm when we enter them fully and hold nothing back.
We can evade life or enter it; we may drink half the cup or none.
We can evade life whenever we choose, but we cannot evade death.
We can hold our breath, or accept each breath as a gift; and our last breath as our greatest gift. Knowing our journey ends only when we dare to return home.
You can avoid life, you can hold back, pretend, avoid, run. You can cheat, deceive, mislead and take whatever reward comes.
You can avoid life, but you cannot avoid death. You can avoid life, run from it, hide.
Give little, take much. But you cannot avoid death, cannot run from it, or hide.