Sitting with a colleague today he told me how in a span of 10 days he lost 3 uncles. Lost, as in passed away. I offered my condolences but inside I was really thinking, “that doesn’t seem too bad…”. I also realised what an unusual thing that was. Or was it?
He seemed to think so.
What could be the reason behind my apparent ease with dealing with death? People fear it. Ask anyone what their biggest fear is and there are good chances death has something to do with it somewhere. Self or spouse, family or friend, the loss of someone is a big problem.
Not for me. I am good with death. In the last few years since and after the death of my grandfather’s closest friend, I have witnessed an entire generation die one by one. It was almost like a contagious yawn that just carried on a bit too long. But they all went. Single file. All the way up (I assume). I’m good to go too. Beam me up whatever-your-name-really-is. Anytime. Let’s go for it.
But I am NOT okay with people saying goodbye. Especially when there has been a choice.
I have seen it happen and now I can even see it coming- goodbyes, that is. I can predict with almost nauseating accuracy who is going out of my life next. Lovers always have and I feel they always will. It makes me very sad. In fact, even saying it makes me sad. How is it that one can on such amicable terms with death and yet, feel animosity, bitterness and acrimony towards a person who chooses to walk away?
Because there is a CHOICE.
Death does not offer you choices. It is an inevitablity. One I have come to accept very comfortably; almost recklessly. Yet in life, and love deceptions abound in relationships; bonds and institutions that comprise of vows – would you believe the temerity – people have to take in order to afford human relationships some credibility. Is the heart so fickle? Yes, indeed it is. And so, we have marriages (among other such commitments) that come with a ‘promise’ of staying together. No matter what.
Promises, I have heard it said, are meant to be broken. I believe it.
I am broken by that with abandons me. I come undone. I… dismantle. You are walking away from me. Leaving. Not because you have to, but because you want to. There was a choice. You are in a position to prevent this and yet… you choose not to. It is like choosing death in the face of a life yet unlived to its potential. You chose not to choose me. And that will be my undoing.
It sees me in an uncomfortable conundrum of sorts, preferring passing on to those passing by, but really, in my head it fits in very nicely. It’s neat. It makes sense in some illogical, fucked-up, deserted lover kind of way. In my head, it makes sense. To me, the person I am as a result of life ‘happening’, the sum total of experiences multiplied by number of years- it makes sense. It may be nonsensical to you, but I UNDERSTAND this. I understand the wherefrom and howcome and whatfor and whynot of it all. It’s enough. It’ll get me through tonight and that is really all we need when we live one day at a time. Living one lifetime in every one of those moments of those days.
Then my colleague went on to tell me of a girlfriend with whom he is now good friends. That is another thing I don’t understand. Fuck it. I’ll figure that out. Or not. Or just figure it out and be okay with it in my head just like I am about people dying versus those who walked away from me.
But I’ll never be okay with that. I know I won’t because I feel it kill something inside of me every single time. I feel myself become less. And like things and people that die, they’re gone for ever and are never coming back.