Today’s soundtrack consisted of quite a lot of “I can’t do this“. “This is too hard.” and “Make it stop.” Despite far too intimate acquaintance, I still find death impossible to comprehend. That someone can be a part of your life and then simply gone. Not estranged. Not moved away. Irrevocably removed from the world, on some kind of cosmic whim. I just can’t process that.
Once death has left its mark on you, each subsequent encounter is burdened by your response to all that has gone before. Genuine grief for the current loss can be all but eclipsed by the rampaging onslaught of every other grief that ever carved a hole in your heart, plus all the griefs you fear are coming.
It can leave you shaken and afraid, shying from future possibilities like a startled rabbit. It can make you painfully aware of the ephemeral nature of human existence. It can make you desperate to do everything, to be everything, and to experience everything, before it’s too late.
It can make you afraid of getting too attached, or it can make attachments even fiercer, in desperate defiance of an inevitability you hardly know how to face.
It can leave you curled up inside your own head, avoiding the world, unwilling to look reality in the eye.
It can make you knock down doors and rip up forests in a fever to make a difference, to feel alive, and to be noticed.
It can make you wonder if your own passing would leave a hole.
Death can rip up your foundations and nail you to the floor, all in the same moment.
It can make you desperate for human contact and yet unable to lift the phone to make a call.
We all experience it. We all have to face it many times over. Yet it remains impossible to understand. It is brutal, and shocking. It’s devastating. And it’s a normal part of life.
I’ll never get used to it. I don’t want to get used to it. But I’m not sure how many tears I can shed in one lifetime.