Someone in my extended family died two nights ago. In the middle of the night. My daughter texted me to tell me. It was not a surprise, one of the illnesses that takes people but gives notice. However, he was young. 44, I think. No kids, but had a wife. Those are always the first questions – who did he leave behind?
I will not be going to the funeral, but my kids are. I took care of the logistics yesterday. And I cried, on and off. Sometime I just cried, really without thought, only the feeling of sadness. But I can only go without thought for a very short period of time.
So I thought about sadness. And death. I felt two kinds of sadness. One, painful, if only, I wish I had…One, sweeter but just as sad if not sadder, oh, his self has left the earth, and his self was a pleasure. And it’s gone.
Maybe this gives me a way to see my own future death, which I am so afraid of. Make sure I know who I leave behind and that they will be OK despite their sadness. Make sure to keep the if only to a minimum. I have always said that I only regret what I don’t do. And then, in the face of the sadness of my self has left the earth, what are the sweet things that I will cry never to see again. There are so many. It’s not the things in themselves, it’s the experience of encountering them. I will be just as sad never to see the red brake lights of cars ahead of me in a rainstorm, as I will be never to feel my fingers on my skin when I touch my own face, as I will be never to pour hot water into my teacup in the morning.
That problem no thought can solve.