In today's Modesto Bee is a short article requesting help from the public.
The Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office is trying to locate next of kin of a Modesto man who died in his home on March 23.
Torrence Herring, who lived in the 8700 block of Maze Boulevard, died of natural causes at the age of 80, said Stanislaus County sheriff’s Detective Zeb Poust.
Anyone related to Herring, or who knows how to reach his family, is asked to call Poust at (209) 567-4504. Every so often I see this type of article and my heart clenches a little in fear. I don't think I am alone in this; every single man or woman I have spoken to has expressed that, at one time or another, they fear being one of the forgotten. I do not know this man's story. I don't know if Torrence ever had a family of his own but I do know that he was someone's son at the very least. As someone who wanted very much to be a wife and a mom only to reach the ripe old age of 59 as neither, it can be daunting to think about facing life alone. So what do we do? I can tell you what I do not plan on doing; I do not plan on grabbing anyone in order to be able to point at him and say, "There. See? I have a boyfriend/lover/husband. I must be ok". There are far worse things than being alone and dying alone and I cannot ever convince myself that God's Will for me is to be a miserable wife. Making that decision seems like a no brainer and it is, of course, but it is also difficult. Many a good man and woman have thrown caution to the wind when it comes to letting some real insanity into their lives at the mere hint that they might have to spend some time alone and unattached. I made that mistake as a younger woman. The mistake was so devastating to my self esteem that it turned into a blessing. The mistake caused me pain - physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially - and the pain caused me to look inward and find what I really wanted. I wanted a relationship with God. The error of youth became the catalyst for my life today - a life of pain and hardship and loneliness?Sometimes, maybe...but it is also a life that is full of freedom and joy and incredibly happiness. It is a life where I am unashamed to be a Catholic, to be a sober woman, to be someone who feels deeply and laughs loudly and cries at sentimental movies. No longer afraid to be by myself in a big old house, I have no trouble taking me out to dinner, to a movie, to Mass or to a meeting - I can go anywhere and do what God directs me to do without having to be too worried about what another person will say about my lifestyle choices. Maybe Torrence had the same kind of life. Maybe, when he went to sleep on March 22 it was after a Sunday where he went to Mass and then had lunch with a friend, or went to a movie or took a drive. Maybe he watched his favorite TV show or re-read a well-loved novel. Maybe, went he went to sleep that night, he said, "Thank you God for my life today. I wouldn't change a thing, even if I could". I didn't know this man. Had never heard of him until I saw the paper today. I am going to choose to believe that Torrence went to sleep with a smile on his face and when he 'awoke' it was to his new life. Eternal Rest grant unto Torrence, O Lord, and may Perpetual Light shine upon him. Amen.