DEATH AND OTHER COMFORTS

At my funeral my friends will describe me as strong, driven, funny, sincere, and self-assured (see how I fooled them?). I know this because I asked them. If I could have the opportunity to say something at my own funeral, I’d say:

I was strong, yes. I was smart, calculated, passionate about my work despite complaining about it at every opportunity, and I deserved none of my friendships, you people were too good to me. I was completely in love with you. But you should know that I welcomed death. It came to relieve my fatigue and now I can start my new life. Shitty that it has to be without you, but I’ll catch you later.

I went for the last visit with my orthopedic surgeon today. My broken ankle has healed perfectly and, despite some swelling that will dissipate with time, life may continue as before the accident. My heart filled my entire chest and a big bolus of gratitude almost choked me. The high continued as one friend achieved a great milestone at work. Then another friend and I managed to get her teenage daughter a beautiful dress for an important high school dance. My spirit felt light and joyous.

But as per life, it didn’t last. A few setbacks occurred at my place of work that I have no control over but that will inevitably have devastating consequences for my career. Political tensions persist that could paralyze my country’s economy. More news of infrastructure failures. And an almost overwhelming sense of purposelessness parked in my throat and wouldn’t fuck off.

I’m constantly amazed at my ability to go from one extreme emotion to the other in the course of a single day. Intellectually I know not to trust my emotions. I’ve learnt that it can persuade me of things that are not true.

But it also exhausts me. And on evenings like this…when I miss my love, my good friend, my grandparents and my parents with so much longing that I can hardly breath…when loneliness seems like something malicious and there seems to be no way out…I think of death as a friend. To go on to my next life and leave all this exhaustion and grief behind seem more like an airplane trip to BoraBora than something to fear. Like knowing that one day it will come and take us away from this damaged place with its damaged people, is a comfort.

On nights like this social media is no ally. Videos of abused dogs shivering with fear, cats being manipulated and abused into making so-called ‘cute’ cat videos, people falling ill, the planet struggling under the weight of too many people and trolls infecting the world with pain at a rate of 100%…I just can’t take it anymore.

I tell you what. I need a good night’s sleep and the expectation that somewhere in my very near future there are margaritas and jalapeno poppers and laughter and an African sunset.

Have good rest, friends.

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