a long time ago, the father of a good friend of mine died. my friend was really, really fucked up for several years following, breaking down and crying at anything that reminded them of their father. it was pretty sad but i was also surprised because i just couldn’t imagine myself reacting like that to anyone’s death. i mean, i think about death all the time. i imagine various people dying at any given moment and how that would feel; i imagine myself dying in car accidents or plane crashes, from medical causes, whatever.
i wouldn’t say i’m obsessed with death though. instead, i like to think that i have a healthy awareness of it, and i believe that’s good because it makes death a lot easier to accept when it does actually happen. i’ve never been surprised by the death of anyone i know—i expect it, even if it’s sudden and out of the blue. for instance, i could crash my car driving home from work today. or a plane could fall out of the sky and crush me here at work. i could fall off a ladder at home tomorrow and crack my head open. these things could happen to anyone, any time, and they do—they’re a reality. the people they happen to aren’t just imaginary or pure statistics, they were real people too, with families and friends and lives and ambitions, just like you and me and everyone else. there’s no reason i couldn’t end up as one of those people tonight. so every moment of life is like a crap shoot we might lose at. that’s pretty much how i think of it.
i don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. i actually see a lot of beauty in the ebb and flow of life, of both coming into and leaving this world. i can’t explain why, it just feels like such a big picture that is perfectly balanced. like if there could be a perfect song or piece of art, life on earth would be it. and death is a part of it—without it, the picture wouldn’t be complete, it wouldn’t be perfect any more. it would be imbalanced and shitty, an amateur’s creation. i’m honoured to be part of this perfect thing, death included, and wouldn’t change it if i could.
and you know, thinking about this stuff doesn’t make me unhappy. i actually have a lot of laughs making obscene, irreverent cracks about death and dying, so many that i’d even say i’m happier in my daily life from thinking about it so much. no kidding.
i think i would be asking a lot if i hoped for other people to feel like i do about death, but i bet a lot of people would have a much easier time dealing with it if they did.