Don't know why, but over the weekend I started to think on morbid things. More specifically, why I've gone to so many funerals of people very close to me, while my friends and acquaintances have gone to so few (if any)?
It hardly seems fair.
And I know it varies from person to person, but honestly I'm just so tired of worrying about who close to me is going to go next. It's been a constant fear ever since my mother was so tragically taken away from me as a kid, but goes back even further. Back to when my baby brother fell out of our 6th story window. I've been to too many funerals to count. The spectre of loved ones dying has hung over me ever since I was a boy, and has shaped me into the serious and too-cautious person I am today.
Sometimes, though . . .
Sometimes I look at other people like they are aliens. They have their mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters. They have never experienced death. They are my age or older, and yet have never been to the funeral of an immediate relative or very close friend.
Sometimes I am so scared to love, for fear that that person will be taken away from me. It's a wonder I married at all. My single most debilitating fear is something happening to Lisa.
Sometimes the thought of losing Lisa drives me to the point of breaking out into a cold sweat late at night while I'm supposed to be sleeping.
Sometimes, even after 23 years, the memory of that day the police came to the door to tell us about my mother makes me curl up into a ball and cry.
Sometimes, the thought of having children scares me into panic. I can't understand how others can procreate so wantonly when eventually--due to the law of averages--something tragic is bound to happen to one of your children. Or yourself. It's a sad thought, but that doesn't make it less true.
Sometimes, others telling me they're sorry for my loss makes me want to scream and yell. As a result, I never say these words to others.
Sometimes I'm told that it gets easier over time. But it doesn't. It never does. It gets worse, much worse. With every loss death does not become easier to face, but more frightening to me. This is something people who haven't been through it don't seem to understand.
Sometimes I see others who have been through much worse, and I wonder: how are they still sane? What is the breaking point of human fortitude?
Sometimes I want to punch religious people who say it was part of God's plan. Or that God works in mysterious ways. No, He does not. God does not care who lives or dies. If He does exist, this is not His purpose.
Sometimes I dwell on death too much.
But in the end, it passes and I'm normal again. Because I am, in fact, an optimist, I don't dwell on these thoughts for too long. I process them and explore my feelings, but I continue to enjoy life.
I love living, being alive . . . but sometimes, deep down inside, the aching hole of loss is a tearing pain that cannot be ignored.
Such is the burden I bear. And I'm not the only one.
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