Jay Died in His Sleep

My mom always said that was what she wanted. She too, died in her sleep. That is another story altogether.

Jay was actually Joseph M. Lerant, my best friend’s older brother. He was a type 1 diabetic. He survived the COVID 19 outbreak in the nursing home. He was 73 when he died on February 17, 2021. You see February 22 was Jay’s funeral service. He was only three years older than me. And he has “gone to his reward.” He was something of a miracle man in that he had juvenile Type 1 diabetes, yet lived to 73 with all of his limbs in tact. There was a pesky wound on his heal that refused to heal. Perhaps it was talk of amputating that foot that led him to loose his grip on life.

One of my first introductions to classical music was when I heard him practicing and learning to play the following on the upright piano in their dining room.


And then there was this one.


Oh goodness. I am about to cry. He would tease his sister Dana and me mercilessly. He gave us nicknames. The three of us took silly photos together when I got hold of a camera once.

When he advanced to this piece I was mesmerized by the music. His hands flying over the keys as he practiced. Not Grandma Snapp’s piano hymns.


One time when I “was invited over” for dinner Jay’s details of the anatomy of a chicken almost made me ‘barf.’ He nicknamed his mother’s favorite tea “constant vomit,” instead of Constant Comment.

He had an amazing brain. He could remember not only conversations, where you were going when it took place, but the date and usually the time. Often he recalled the weather that day and perhaps what you were wearing.

Jay was the first person I knew who went to a counselor regularly. His sharing of that experience was a generous gift. I have now seen my share of counselors.

May he rest in peace in the Presence of our Resurrected Lord and Savior.

St. Ignatius prayed, ““Wherever Your glory be best served, whenever, however; there, then, and in that state let me Your servant be; only hide not from me Your divine love.”

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