Today we lost a dear family member. We knew it was coming. It wasn’t exactly a surprise. But, when we got the news, it stung like fire to think that this planet would be lacking in such a colorful personality. The void was immediately felt and the tears could not be contained.
The funny thing about death is that it’s everyone’s end game. It’s the direction in which we are all headed. It’s our future. It’s our inevitability. Yet, ironically, we forget this fact almost daily. Only when someone around use dies does it re-enter our minds as a jarring reality yet to be faced.
Turning on the news this week, there were other deaths which struck a chord in me. 88-year old Delbert Belton, a man who took a bullet for this country in Okinawa, died because a couple of fools couldn’t come up with better evening plans than, say, beating a man to death with flashlights. And then there’s the 22-year old college student, Christopher Lane, who was gunned down by a threesome who were as unworthy of life as they were “bored.” Sudden, terrible, unjustified, unwarranted deaths. Old or young, it’s all unfathomable. It’s all tragic.
So, when I sit at home after hearing of my loved one’s death, is it any less difficult or tragic because it was something we were all expecting? Simply put, no. There is never anything easy about death. No matter the age, no matter the means, it is all hard. It is all emotional. And, to those who love the one who has been lost, there is never enough time to throw in the towel and say that it has been a good run. Whether a person dies after one year or one hundred years, whether it’s after a long drawn out illness or a sudden traumatic event, it’s never enough. And it never will be. That’s just how death works.
It’s where we are all headed, but we do so kicking and screaming. No matter how much we hate mosquito bites, mullets, asshole waiters, or waiting in line at the DMV, we would much rather endure any of those things than die. No one wants to face our inevitable fate. No one wants to come upon this great unknown. Death is our last unknown. Our final question mark.
I can’t say that when my time comes I will be anything other than full of dread and fear. Maybe fatigue. Maybe fulfillment. Hopefully full of love. But, there is one thing of which I am certain – I will never feel like I had enough time. Because, really, does anyone?