Death sucks. But it’s a bittersweet, necessary, little dipshit.
Can you imagine what would happen if we never died? Actually, yeah, it’s pretty easy. Just watch any modern Wolverine movie. He’s a super happy beam of light, isn’t he?
Psych! Just a little joke us living folks like to make. Turns out, he’s pretty forlorn. No matter what he does or is done to him, he can’t seem to die. And that’s a heavy burden to carry.
Then again, so is the burden of knowing that by loving others, you run the risk of somehow losing them in the future. And then you’ll have to endure all the sadness and the pain from that.
See what a little dipshit Death really is? It’s a lose/lose.
Briana, you’re normally super upbeat and cheery and like to talk about rainbows and puppies. What’s going on?
I’m still plenty upbeat and cheery. I’ve just lately been reminded through losing loved ones of my own (our own) pending mortality. For a planner and achiever like myself, the anxiety of wanting to get everything done that needs to be done before leaving this earth combined with my desire to live in the moment while also making investments and planning for a better future is enough to make me go screaming face first onto my balcony.*
*Note, I live in a garden apartment. I mean that I literally want to walk out screaming then stand there safely, with my usually quiet neighbors wondering what all the fuss is about before remembering we don’t know anything about each other and have a policy to leave each other, for the most part, alone. So everything would go back to normal shortly thereafter.
So what’s my point in writing this? I don’t know. I don’t think there is a point except to say that death sucks. I attended two funerals of loved ones recently, both of whom had been struggling and trapped in their own bodies for a long time. Death was a weirdly welcome visitor for these two folks. I know they’re no longer suffering. I know in many ways that we lost them years ago. But that doesn’t mean that, as I stood there looking at what remains of their temporary earthly soul-housing, I started hi-fiving the crying people next to me while saying, “WHEW! What a relief, amiright?!”
Au contraire, bittybear. It was freakin’ sad.
There’s a finality to saying goodbye. There’s a finality to the funeral service—however it’s done—that brings about the recognition that you’ll no longer have normal access to this person, no matter what they meant to you. There’s a finality to thinking that you, too, will pass and that everyone you’re here with at this moment will do the same.
It’s overwhelming, to say the least.
You start wondering if you’re living your life right. You start wishing you had spent more time with whoever passed. You start looking at the loved ones closest to you and holding on more tightly while recognizing it’s unreasonable to spend every waking moment together, reminding them that you love them. That’s not what life is about and that’s not always the most accurate way of showing your love.
Love is an action verb. It means more than simply saying it. It means showing those you love that you love them by living up to your own potential, beaming your light as brightly as you can, and being able to share that with others. It means shining your light (however that may manifest in you) on people near or far. Sometimes you can bring light through your words and acknowledgement. Sometimes you bring it through staying true to who you are in a difficult situation. Sometimes it’s any number of possibilities in between those two things.
Because when you’re gone, your legacy continues through the amount of light you’ve imparted on others. They think about not only who you were and how you affected them, but also who they’ve lost before and how they can learn to shine more brightly in remembrance of those who’ have passed and in reverence of the strange luck that has allowed them to continue to be alive.
When you’re younger, you have no sense of it really. Nor should you. Please, parents, do not start telling your kids at young ages that they’re going to die someday. That feels like it’d only end up being traumatic. But as you get older, every doctor’s appointment and strange test result, no matter how common it may be in others, can come as a shocking reminder of how frail health can be and how flippantly we seem to dance in and out of this existence. Combine that with the realization that you have and will continue to lose those you love, and there’s really no simpler way to say it than… Death sucks.
Then again, nothing worthwhile ever came easily. Ships won’t get damaged if they stay in the port, but that’s not what ships are for. A smoothe sea never made for a skillful sailor. Diamonds are as a result of years of intense pressure. And Wolverine’s life is depressing.
So as much as death sucks, it also weirdly gives us all inspiration to shine more brightly and live more fully.
That little dipshit.