Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Another sign that I am a grown up, and another reason to wish I was a kid again

Someone died. Someone I knew very casually, many years ago. But it is another death.

This has happened with ever-increasing frequency. It started randomly......a kid in grade school who lost his brothers in a train crash. A kid who's dad had cancer. A friend who lost a child. Illness, accident, overdose, suicide. On and On and On. The list of the lost is getting longer, the deaths seem to be more abrupt. No time to say goodbye. Just a post on Facebook with funeral details, or an email, or a voicemail, or just stumbling upon the obituary and realizing that the name, the face in that photograph, is one you know. One you knew. All of these losses seem so......senseless. So tragic and terrible and heartbreaking and fucking UNFAIR. So unfair.
For the most part, so far, it has been my friends' parents. I couldn't understand it, when it started happening. Couldn't get my head around it. Parents, people my parents' age, are dying. How could this be happening? And then, I did a little math and realized......I am almost the same age as my mother was, when her mother - my beloved grandmother - passed away.

And that freaked me the fuck out.

I just do not know how to deal with death, I guess. The permanence of it. The fear of it. I don't want to live my life in fear of death. But I do, I guess. I don't feel the fear all the time, I don't carry it around with me, it does not color all of my decisions or anything......but it rears it's ugly dark head when someone loses a loved one.

And as I get older, and my friends and my parent's friends and my friend's parents get older, this is going to happen more often. The natural progression of things, I suppose. Doesn't make it right. Does it make it easier? I can't tell yet - but it doesn't feel easier. It just feels scary. Like people are just......disappearing. Mortality is becoming a very real concept, and the ignorance (and bliss) of youth is slowly fading away. Every obituary is bringing me a day closer to my own last day.

So, what to do. Live each day as if it was my last? A lovely concept, but simply not realistic. I have kids to raise, bills to pay. I can appreciate each day, of course, and make sure that I let people know how much they mean to me, how much I appreciate them - and I try to do that. I really do. But is it enough? Can anything really be enough?

I am at a loss. I cannot make sense of it, cannot find the words to comfort the bereaved, because really......what is going to make it better? What is going to make it OK? I am heartsick for the friends, neighbors, family, acquaintances who are struggling to come to terms with an abrupt end of a life that was an integral part of their own. I wish I had some clever insight, a way to lift the mood or leave you with an anecdote that would put a smile on your face. It hurts me to know that someone who is grieving might read these words, because there is no comfort here. I am scared of death. There. At least there is that. I said it. I am not ready to go. I am not ready to say goodbye. And if I have to go before I am ready, I can only hope that someone will be able to give my children some comfort - someone with a better handle on this then myself.

1 comment:

High_Noonan said...

I hate to say it, but we are getting quite used to these tragic and pointless deaths back in lil' olde Mystic. I was thinking about it just last night. At what point do we start counting up our dead? What a waste.
I do not deal all that well with death, either. But, the more I am forced to face it, the better I become at pretending I am OK.
I hope you never reach that point. I think that jadedness is REALLY a sign that you have become old.