My dad called me today to tell me that my uncle has died. He was my mum's only brother and couldn't have been older than sixty six. He Lived alone and they're not yet sure how he died, suffice to say that he was found on the floor of his bedroom. I am upset about his passing because he was there throughout my childhood. He even lived with us for a while. I have hundreds and thousands of memories of him and I am utterly gutted that he's gone.
My mother is distraught - she's had a lot of grief to contend with over the years and this has pushed her over a line somewhere. I am as upset for her as I am for his Death. His children lost a sister within the last twelve months too, so I can't imagine how they're feeling.
I've told some people about this in text messages, but obviously nobody cares. Nobody cares about death, injury or loss unless its happening to them. People will express meaningless platitudes because they don't know what to say and because they can't relate to you. The conversation will stutter and choke until you ask them about themselves, at which point their words start to flow. We are all, to a greater or lesser degree, narcissistic.
Death makes no sense to me. I don't get how a person can just vanish and leave a decaying body behind. Loved ones have enough to deal with, over your loss, without having your rotting corpse left behind for them to stick into a hole in the ground. Of course there is a lot of pomp and ritual around death, but essentially your remains are boxed up and shoved under the ground where it can't disturb or offend anybody until there's not enough of it left to worry about. Its almost unfair. Death is unfair because none of us get a choice about whether or not it happens, or indeed about how it happens. One day you're going to croak and leave a slab of meat behind. If I was given a choice, before being born, I'm not sure how I would have felt about the clause that says death is unavoidable and fairly random.
People often talk about living life to the max, about having mad experiences, but what's it all for if you're gone at the end and no memory exists (even in heaven) of what we did here? Why shouldn't we all just die now and get it over with?
Of course that's not the right attitude, but it is at least an understandable attitude to have. Life is ultimately a gift and the people in it are a blessing. Every sunrise, every smell, every feeling is unique and cannot be replicated in any other realm in existence. Enjoy it while you can.