Weird morning. A lot of death in the air. And coming from someone whose every day reality is spent wading ankles-deep in mortality (or brain-deep, if you prefer) death being weird is itself kind of weird.
So it got me thinking. Which it does for all of us, I suppose. Thinking about death is the most difficult and peculiar train of thinking there is, since it feels so desperately important to figure out, and yet it rarely ever allows for any sort of acceptable conclusions, minor or major.
It’s difficult. Even just thinking about death is difficult. And that’s saying nothing of actually dying… (See what I mean? isn’t that difficult to think about?)
Anyway, what I’m getting at is is this: yes, it’s difficult– it’s really fucking hard, in fact. It’s hard to understand, it’s hard to accept, and it’s especially hard to live with.
But that’s alright. Some things are just hard.
The least we can do to ease our myriad burdens (this one in particular) is to avoid beating ourselves up for our inability to comprehend the incomprehensible, to accept the unacceptable. Better to nod our heads in sad recognition of the fact that we just do not and maybe will never understand certain things. Like this one particular thing. And hey– that’s OK! Because it’s hard! It’s really hard!
Of the many lessons I’ve learned in four years spent brain-deep in The Most Peculiar Of All Subjects, this is one of my favorites: That some things are just hard. And that’s OK. It’s OK to not know what to say sometimes, or even to think.
And one of the best things you can to do to make things a little easier is to accept the fact that it’s not always going to be easy. We’re not always going to be able to figure it out.
But that’s OK.
Sure, it sucks. Yes, it hurts. Some times we find ourselves standing in front of a wall that seems so impassable and incomprehensible that we want to just bang our heads against it and scream. And make ourselves hurt even more, out of frustration that we can’t just magically make it disappear.
But then, if wait long enough, something will change. Something will come, as easily and lightly as this morning breeze, and we’ll open our eyes, and rub our heads and look up: and that wall will be gone. Or at least half as tall as it was.
And we’ll smile, and we’ll go on.
So that’s what I’ve been thinking about this morning.
And it reminded me of one of the other lessons I’ve learned about death, in my last couple of years wading through it. Here it is:
There aren’t many things you can still do, after you’re dead. But one thing you can still do is this:
You can still make people smile.
And that’s really something, isn’t it?
This morning, someone who is no longer here, and about which I am terribly sad, still managed to make me smile. Just thinking about her… I cried, but then suddenly I smiled.
And as difficult as all of this is, that one little part didn’t feel difficult at all. That smile came easily, and honestly, and it felt true. It felt like a gift. And that gift is as real as the sadness, because here I am smiling again, right now. Because of her.
She just did that. Even though she’s gone.
Now that really is something.