But I’ll never know by living, only my dying will tell“. I always liked these lyrics by Blood, Sweat and Tears because I could relate to them. I haven’t thought about it in awhile but the passing of a loved one recently reminded me of it. It’s curious to me how these things play out and I would ask for your indulgence as I travel down this path a bit.
Those that knew this person knew she was in ill health and had the opportunity to extend whatever olive branch they deemed appropriate. It is curious to me how people rush to the ill to seek forgiveness and try to hustle dirt over old wounds. Let’s be honest…if you really gave a crap about that person, you would have already made that move a long time ago. Still, because the living are left to deal with the dead, we go through this macabre ritual to accelerate closure.
The one thing that struck me about what happened is the finality of it all. The person that passed used to call me at odd times with crazy stories and various ramblings. I always tried to be polite and kind but, truth be told, there are times when I found it very annoying. Now, for the rest of my life, I will never receive such a call from that person again. Never. Under any circumstances. That finality really struck me right between the eyes. Again, not because I felt I had some last minute thing to say but because death is so final and permanent.
I now better understand why those of faith cling feverishly to the thought of the afterlife. Even if it means burning in an eternal hell because, as we know, it is better to feel something than nothing at all. Maybe this death will open my eyes to this way of thinking because I can tell you it is a pretty scary thought to think that when it is over, it is over.
Personally, I have always felt fortunate to have lived as long as I have and I try to get a smile out of people most days. I consider that my teeny little contribution to life. It’s not much but for a lazy guy like me, it’s better than nothing. Most people I know offer at least as much everyday and I think it is why our little world continues to chug along year after year.
Also, although I like to poke fun at religion, I fully respect people and their personal beliefs. Today, I think I get it a little more. I am not running out to buy a crucifix, prayer mat or yahmaka. Nor will I start singing “Faith” by George Michael…at least no more than I currently do. But I will look a little harder and try to find a place that is comfortable for me. The alternative is a pretty scary place to be.
I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.