Don't read this.

I don't entirely know why I am writting about this. There is nothing new about what I am experiancing. I suppose it is the oldest and most universal experiance... period. But, I have never experianced it like this.

That, of course, suggests that I have experianced death. My first came when I was pulled out of a line waiting to get on busses for a field trip in eighth grade. It was the end of the year and we were being treated to a day at the local bowling ally / miniture golf / go carts / arcade place. I even remember handing my little zip lock bag of quarters to one of my friends because I knew, in a sense, what the office secretary wanted to see me about. And yet, I didn't. It was still a surprise because I never really saw my great grandfather towards the end. I just knew he was not well and really, death wasn't something that happened to people I knew.

Then there were the car accidents. Each one creeping closer, first someone I barely knew. Then the kid who was cool and bad ass and yet still would talk to me if we had a class together. Adam Rusnak came next. I still remember the shock of losing someone you see everyday. Chemistry class was never the same.

Last was Vasu. I could write for years and still never capture what I felt after he died. So sudden, we were planning on going to India together just two months later. Then walking through a funeral parlor not wanting with every fiber of my body to be seeing and hearing it all.

But Grandpa R... knowing and yet not letting your self know. Little remarks about how its somehow funny that he still thinks that he will be able to drive again (although deep down we think he knows he wont). The daily regimend of pills and inhalers and exersizes and precautions and worries that is wearing down my grandmother. Conversations, if they last longer then 10 minutes, that are about everything and somehow nothing.

I have never felt like this. Death is not supposed to be like this. It is supposed to come up from behind and snatch those things away from you that you care most about. It teaches you to charish life and those around you. It gives meaning and urgancy and beauty to everything.

But how can you find purpose or take meaning from something that hasn't happened yet but already has? You are stuck in a limbo of numbness and purposefull ignorance. Feeling the future fill the present and doing your best to look past it.

And perhaps that is why I am so upset. Death, for me, is not an inevitability but a game a chance. Role two dice and you will be surprised how long you can go before you role snake eyes. You can also be surprised how quickly they can appear. Regardless, there is no explicit end game. You role as long as you can.

That is what is wrong , it just doesn't seem right to role expecting to lose.


Blogger Potchka said...

Im going through the same thing with my grandpa right now, he turned 90 years old on June 8th. I think when he goes I won't cry, I will have been ready for it so long that I won't be upset. I'll be upset when I want to share something special and he isn't there. If it weren't for the intervention of modern medicine he would have died 25 years ago.

3 years ago I watched a good friend of mine, Becky Glick die of an infection in the lining of her heart. Slow, very, very slow death. But in the end that time helped her come to peace with so many things in her life, she told me the day before she died her suffering was not without meaning also her famous quote, "I wish for you what you wish for yourself."

Recently I had life and death put in my hands, twice actually, one significantly more traumatic than the other. I've been in a haze for a while now. Even if it is just a roll of the dice, if we have the power to choose it makes us feel safer I think, that is all. The dog mauled squirrel twitching in shock or the elderly marine-surgeon dying slowly of heart disease.... if we could choose for them or for ourselves when it would happen would all do it and probably all live forever happy and healthy. I think it is less about chance and more about consequence from some end or another. Be it some truck driver falling asleep at the wheel and killing a close friend or dying of heart disease after a life of unhealthy indulgence. Even though it might not be the consequence of the deceased...it is someone's consequence.

3:54 PM  

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