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R.I.P. Elizabeth Griffith (1945-2007)

My former wife, Elizabeth Griffith (better known as Libby), died early this morning from complications brought on by ovarian cancer. Libby and I were married from 1976 to 1997 but remained friends after that time as we cooperated and collaborated to raise our two sons, Martin (now 20) and Griffith (now 28).

A friend in Britain emailed me last week after he received my letter about Libby's prognosis. He mentioned that we had taken him into our home and treated him as a son while he was assigned to our parish, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, as part of his ministerial training nearly 20 years ago. As I read those words, I first ascribed all that as Libby's doing. To the extent I did anything like that, it was because she brought up the idea. Secondly, I realized that Libby's way of making the world a better place was to do something for one person (or one dog) at a time. David, our British friend, was not the only person she took under her wing over the years. And I lost count of the "foster dogs" we kept for the Alabama Animal Adoption Society until they could be placed with a suitable family.

Right after she was told the chemotherapy was not working to kill the cancer, I visited her in the hospital. We had a short personal conversation, and then she turned to the plans she had made for our sons. She gave me several assignments to start work on to comfort and care for both of them. She did not bewail her fate, except to note that she probably would not be able to collect her Social Security. She was right; she died just over 2 months before her 62nd birthday.

She will be missed by our sons, her many friends, her dogs, and by me.

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