Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Death. The End.

A couple of years ago a good friend of mine committed suicide.  Utterly out of the blue.  No history of failed attempts, no obvious signals, nothing that alerted any of his mates that he was on the edge.  His death hit me very hard, and despite being a relatively happy father of (at that stage) two kids, in a loving and positive long-term relationship, and having so many things to live for, I too contemplated the unthinkable.  His death brought on a profound period of darkness and depression in my life, short-lived as it was.  I confronted my own mortality, mirrored in that of my mate's.  I questioned everything that I held to be true about existence, about my ideas of religion/God/destiny/fate/death/purpose/etc.  I was angry at my departed friend, angry at myself for not doing enough, angry at the world for being so cold, heartless and twisted.  I indulged myself in that most pathetic, selfish and adolescent idea of "What's the point to it all anyway?" and felt close to the concept of an early exit.  I had no choice, no thanks to the decision and final action of my friend, but to hold up the mirror to my own life and look hard at my reflection.  My friend was forcing me to live a more examined life, and I resented it.  And then I got over it.

Then, not so long after, another friend was killed in a motorbike accident.  Another funeral for a young man.  They are never particularly joyous affairs, are they?  This time I felt better armed against the attack of the deep-blue-funks.  Yes, there were the probing incursions of negative mind-states, but previous experience had forewarned me, and so I did not fall as hard into the blues.  Don't get me wrong, though, this friend's death still kicked me hard in the existential guts - I helped go through his apartment, sorting through his personal belongings, throwing out things that had significance for one man, and none for anyone else - that was a trip, a hard one.  The affect on me this time, with this experience, was different.  I had a different set of skills to cope, skills that admittedly were centred around the concept of dealing with my own mortality that, let's face it, is where a hell of a lot of our feelings of grief and sense of loss is derived.

Recently, this has happened to me again.  Another friend, another very young man, another motorcycle accident.  We had messaged one another on Facebook about five minutes before his death.  Shocking, tragic, and freakish.  Another funeral for a young man, one of those kind where many women wail, where the men attempt a kind of stoic hardness, and where we all laugh too easily at inane and tragically ordinary anecdotes from a life cut too short.   Here was another lesson on life's seemingly indiscriminate cruelty and randomness.

We carry on.

No comments:

Post a Comment