No one likes the thought of dying, but it’s the only event we all experience . Is it that we are really bad at talking about it or can’t we face it? I guess that’s the same thing.
“Absolute silence leads to sadness. It is the image of death.” (Jean-Jacques Rousseau) Maybe he meant that loneliness is like death, or maybe it means that the silence around death leads to loneliness? Either way it certainly is sad and it’s our own fault.
Have you ever overheard two people having a conversation about you? I have, I’ll chew on that for hours, days even. They don’t understand me! How dare they! What would they know! And they’re the G rated responses!! As time slips by the outrage grows and grows until the ugly monster within has festered into something I no longer recognize. The story has exaggerated, just a little, and has turned into a Days of Our Lives script worthy of an Oscar or two. The mountain of emotion inside is ready to erupt on whomever is game enough to cross my path. God have pity on that poor soul.
But what if it that wasn’t the whole story? What if there was more to it, or it was spoken in concern not accusation?? That would change things, but I only know that if I will talk about it and look for the truth. If I choose to be honest with my emotions and air them in front of a third party. Me, my emotions and someone sane. If I choose the vulnerable path of letting someone in on the pain I feel so they can help me see what is real as opposed to how I perceive it. It’s like cleaning out an abscess, all the goo just has to come out, and it is not pretty. Once clean though, healing begins.
I think it’s like that with death. We don’t talk about it, or about the one who has died and all manner of emotions fester inside. We think it might upset someone, it might make them cry. I say, that’s OK, let me cry, my tears honor my loved one. With my tears I say “I loved you and love you still”. With my tears I let the world know that their life really meant something, you’ll know that if you see me cry about him. You will know it touches my heart, it has pulled something out of me that’s personal and completely overwhelming. I don’t want to be scared of that. But as a people I think we are. Crying, or at least showing some true emotion, helps heal the wound, it goes part of the way to stopping it fester. Unattended that wound can be fatal. It is absolute sadness and keeps you looking at the death. Forgetting the life, the infection gets worse until complete shut down.
Everyone who dies has lived. That life has still been lived if they die, still happened, still part of you. Although they are no longer here with you, beside you as you would prefer, all that meaningful life still and forever has a purpose. My late husband loved me and is forever a part of me, of who I am today. My husband’s late wife loved him, and the life they lived together makes up so many years of who he is, of course I want to know about them, about her. She is the mother of children I now think of as my family. She is utterly integral, both our late partners are.
Sometimes I feel a lump in my throat when I speak his name, sometimes a smile. Either way, I believe it’s better said than locked away. Memories shared help them stay alive, helps them feel closer. We will all face death, but will we all remember the life?
Please do, even if you cry.