Monday, May 10, 2010

It's Easy to be Zen About Life When You Don't Know the People Dying

Life is strange. Life is short. It's easy to either ignore or be really "at peace with" these concepts when life isn't being strange or short. So what do you do when it is being strange and/or short?


Mourning is a strange process even for people who have studied psychology. It's all well and dandy (again) when it's distant from you, when you can put it under a glass and say, "Ah yes, the denial stage... The anger stage... etc." But when you're the one denying, being angry, it's a little more complicated. I for one have never experienced grieving in such straight forward terms. It has never been such a simple progression from one "stage" to the next. For me, grieving involves going through many stages, over and over again, interweaving, skipping, returning, periods of relative acceptance and "normalcy" only to find a certain song or article or person throws me back into depression or bargaining... "what if what if?"

What if "what if" didn't exist? What if we lived each moment with no regrets? Would we still say what if, if we didn't regret, but just wanted to know if there were other possibilities? Or is "what if" an inherently regretful question?

I suppose it doesn't really matter, and I hate to be cliche, but it seems that death distills life down to something smaller, more meaningful and through that lens I can say, it seems that not much does. It is funny how death can make certain parts of life mean more: a hug, a look, the sun shining through the trees, raindrops tickling your forehead; but it makes other things seem so utterly meaningless: finals, job hunting, food, the right outfit, finding boxes for moving.

I wonder if being able to cry would make things meaningful again. I wonder if being able to write would speed up my mourning process. I am comforted by the knowledge, though, that this stage of depression will not last long. Tomorrow I could be angry, or grateful, or accepting. Tomorrow I could cry. Tomorrow I could stop denying, stop being in shock. I wonder if knowing what really happened would change anything. I wonder I wonder...

And really, is that any different than "what if"?

What if I died when I was only 22? Alone in the early morning hours of San Francisco BART commuter traffic? What if I died on the streets near Civic Center where I used to go to visit a woman I loved? What if I never got to say goodbye? What if I lay unconscious for some number of hours, bruised and broken? What if they mistook me for a homeless man? What if my parents had to find out from an investigator? What if my friends had to worry if I suffered? What if I never saw it coming?

I never will. At least it's entirely likely that I will never see it coming. It's entirely likely that I won't get to say goodbye. It's entirely likely that my friends and family will wonder what I went through and what they could have done.

With that in mind, there's really only one thing to do about death. Live. Live like you were dying, because you never know when you will. Love like it's your last moment because some day it will be. Hug like you mean it because some day you'll wish you had. Stay a few extra minutes to say goodbye to the people you love... maybe that few minutes will keep you out of an accident, and even if it doesn't you got to say goodbye.

So, at the chance I won't be able to say it again, goodbye. Go in peace and know that I love you. And don't let your "what if"s keep you from being zen about life. "What if"s just get in the way. And if you live without them, you'll never have a need of them.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Dia diobh

It has been a long time since I first started blogging. I'm looking forward to starting again... this time as a new person. In that past year I have undergone some serious transformations in my life. Sometimes I can't believe how different I am. My entire world has opened up as a sea of possibilities. I understand that I choose each and every moment how I am going to interpret and live my life. I decide whether or not to be happy. I have the power to make each moment beautiful and fulfilling beyond compare just by being present.

I truly can't wait to start sharing all the things I want to share with the world. First of all, my love. Everyone on Earth is deserving of love from me. "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and stars. You deserve to be here." Know that as long as breath flows through your lungs that you are loved. Know that when it stops you have been appreciated, you have changed someone's life.

You are beautiful and I can't wait to tell you all the reasons why!