Just Fine in the Abstract

Death is absolutely fine in the abstract--when it is distant and can tell a story of a life interestingly led.  It is when it comes close and is tangible that my chest tightens and panic surges through me.  I am more afraid of the grieving than anything else.  I don't want any of us to have to feel that sad.

Obviously, I enjoy the peace and beauty of a well-appointed cemetery with soft, rolling slopes and grand, ancient and protective trees.  But it is really only the older, established cemeteries that make me feel this way.  Newer cemeteries or, more to the point, new graves cause immediate discomfort, sadness, even a little shock.  Oh wait, I'm not on the private grounds of my estate reading stony biographies of new-old friends?  No,  I'm also walking through the shaded roads of human sorrow and loss.

It is a terrible day when death in the abstract takes on a clean line of definition and finality.


I wrote the above over two years ago and never saw an end to the post much less the point of my words.  Where was I heading with my thoughts?  They were first written in response to the futility I felt about Polly dying and were put in storage after the shock of losing Luke soon after.  Dying is an abhorrent state of affairs and death is only acceptable when ground is gained and time has passed.  But it's the no-man's land between death and the beginning to heal that is the most vile, netless, sense of falling from a high place one can ever experience. 

 You would think people who have known loss would be adept in consoling those who it is less known to.  But, despite my in-depth knowledge into the loss of parents and a sibling, I have no words when people I care about lose loved ones--loved ones I have known and cared about, too.  I feel like a fraud erroneously catapulted to professional mourner status.   I have the experience but not the know-how.  I have sat mute when I should have condoled.  I have pretended there was no elephant in the room despite the stinking 20 lb pile of poop we were all warming our hands over. 

I'm not conventionally religious.  I can't say I'll pray for you, I can't offer you the hope of God's blessings.  But, albeit very simplistically, here's what I can hope for all our loved ones who die:

>>>They are having a helluva reunion
>>>They are beyond all the emotions known to humankind but love.  May we always know love.

Almost more than anything else, I hope they now know the answers to all the secrets.  It would only be fair. 



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