I came home from work yesterday to find a somber Deb typing away in writer mode. She asked if I wanted to read her latest post, and of course I said yes. Then I did. And it was honest, as somber as the lady herself at the time, and sobering. Then she asked, "Do you want to watch the video?" and I told her a flat, "No." because I know the song, I know the episode of Scrubs she was talking about, and I know what the result would be if I were to watch said video..
And then in true Deb fashion she hits play anyway, and with a grin says, "I can't suffer alone." and so we watched the heart shatteringly sad video, with a heart shatteringly sad song, and I broke. the fuck. down. I have to say that is one of the most traumatic things I have ever watched in my life.
I am unashamed to admit I was a flat out MESS after watching that thing. Like for over an hour after. It's a sobering fact, when you think about it, and one we really don't like thinking about. Not really. Even as riot childe goths in the 90's, death was an excuse for excess, debauchery, and wringing the last bits of sensuality from life. Go hard, or go home as they say. Also, as a male, things like death tend to get treated like a dare on the scale of, "How long can you hold your face in this blender?" But honestly, those are just the trappings of death. Momento Mori. When you get hit square in the face by the emotional toll that it takes, and see that it is unavoidable, it can be hard to bare.
I had a client, an older gentleman, who confessed to me that he was the "last one", that all his friends and family were dead now, and he wasn't sure who was luckier, them or him, and perhaps he'd lived long enough. Another client of mine has Parkinson's, and told me, "The disease always wins. Always. But I'll fight it for as long a I can." and he said it with such kindness and warmth, that it was heartbreaking on a whole different level.
As terrifying as it is for someone to be close to death, or dying, it is in a strange way worse for those who live on. Surviving is hard. And after some losses you just aren't the same anymore.
I don't have any better answer than her for what comes after, honestly. I trust that those spiritual types who have handed down these afterlife practices to us at great risk and pains to themselves had a working knowledge of things, and so I do them.. perhaps I do them to give myself an illusion of control. Either way, they get done.
But for those left behind, for all the big brown hares out there, who lose their white rabbits, I have no answer, no comfort save one: Love. Just keep Loving them.
If you were to boil down everything I think, and believe and hold dear, and value in this life, it would boil down to Love. It is Divine, and makes thing Divine. It is the most natural emotion, that thing that drives us to reach out and connect. Love.. is the connection. It' the open heart. It's the bravery that can have you stare into the abyss and not flinch.
Perhaps my favorite quote from any movie ever is from The Crow: "If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them. Building burn, people die, but real love is forever. " And it hold true. You hold a shrine, a vigil to them in your heart. There is nothing else for sure but that. It keeps a channel open, a memory alive, and if nothing else it is something beautiful to hold on to.
Ironically, it is the fear of loss, of pain, of rejection, that keeps us from following our heart. Fear or losing something precious can keep us from having anything precious at all. We have to be brave though, not just to have more, but to be more, and to have the full spectrum of experience here, because without that, when the card house of theory crumbles and you are left with the rawness of Life, you will be unprepared. When you are unprepared it is easy to flinch away, but there is honestly no where to hide from it.
My only answer, my only comfort, my only solution is to just Love. Bravely, Fiercely, and Genuinely.
We'll end with some Dream of an Insomniac:
"There are too many mediocre things in life, love shouldn't be one of them." -David Shrader
"Anything less than mad, passionate, extraordinary love is a complete waste of your time." -Frankie