No I don’t think obsessively about death. (not anymore) (not lately). But I can still kinda appreciate it when I read about it. Appreciate it in a way that most tv shows and movies and people cannot describe. Perhaps I’ve always been more sensitised to this, perhaps it’s because of past events.
This is a really good article/whatever you call this 5 page long story. It’s really very real, it’s as real as told from the point of someone who knows too much about the truth and having to deal with the reality of it. It’s hard to avoid the underlying facts when one day it happens to you and it goes from theory to reality.
Our life together was gone, and carrying on without her was exactly that, without her. I was reminded of our friend Liz’s insight after she lost her husband to melanoma. She told me she had plenty of people to do things with, but nobody to do nothing with.
It turns out that Hollywood has grief and loss all wrong. The waves and spikes don’t arrive predictably in time or severity. It’s not an anniversary that brings the loss to mind, or someone else’s reminiscences, nor being in a restaurant where you once were together. It’s in the grocery aisle passing the romaine lettuce and recalling how your spouse learned to make Caesar salad, with garlic-soaked croutons, because it was the only salad you’d agree to eat. Or when you glance at a rerun in an airport departure lounge and it’s one of the episodes that aired in the midst of a winter afternoon years earlier, an afternoon that you two had passed together. Or on the rise of a full moon, because your wife, from the day you met her, used to quote from The Sheltering Sky about how few you actually see in your entire life. It’s not sobbing, collapsing, moaning grief. It’s phantom-limb pain. It aches, it throbs, there’s nothing there, and yet you never want it to go away.
Of course Hollywood has it all wrong. Most of Hollywood is a hopeless 2 hour farce of antics and stupid jokes. But sometimes there are incredible arthouse/indie films that just break your heart. (The TV series Grey’s Anatomy is so full of stupid accidents and stuff isn’t even scary or interesting compared to real emotions. pfft. cat man?)
Cancer treatments. Someday humankind will look back and wonder, all those years, what did we do with cancer, why did we do all that. Someday.
As always, the good line: when you are near death, what would you regret, how would you want to be remembered by, what do you want to remember having done? And, as I was telling S just earlier, and it’s probably something I say too often – there are only 50 sundays a year.