Once again it is nighttime and everyone is sleeping, but me. This is often how I spend this time of night; listening to the in and out breaths of humans and/or dogs around me, and thinking about how everyone including me and including my dog, without hesitation, is going to die. I can never figure out why this thought drowns me at times. But sometimes it’s so incredibly real that I have to talk myself out of thinking about it. Like eternity. Like time and space. Sometimes it’s too much.
And other times, also mostly at night, I think about what an elephant in the room it is; that we’re all going to die, and nobody is talking about it. And if you try to talk about it, you’re either morbid or misunderstood, or both. And that doesn’t make the infringing feeling of The End feel any better. I think about death in many capacities, but mostly I think of it in my own terms. How will I die? How old will I be? How does my story end? These are all silly meaningless questions that I can’t know the answers to. So why are my dreams filled with me or Monty dying all the time? And why do I always stop at the obituaries section of the newspaper? I’m pretty sure that means I am morbid, and that’s been something I’ve insisted I’m not. Crap.
You know what happens when there’s an elephant in the room that nobody talks about? Well actually, I’ve never heard the answer to the proverbial question, but I think it goes something like: Eventually the elephant poops and everyone at the cocktail party is like “Hey!! There’s elephant poop in the middle of the living room!” and everyone freaks out and screams and before you know it your guests have ruined their shoes and saying “We should have seen it coming.” If they just would have talked about the elephant in the first place, it wouldn’t be such a surprise coming across elephant poop in the living room! Get it? Human Death is the elephant poop in this analogy. Did I make that clear? I’m not very good at this. AM I. Anyway, I use that analogy because when someone hears about someone dying, it’s exceptionally hard to grasp the idea. It is sad. It is tragic. But no one ever says “Mary died today, and this was supposed to happen.” I hope someone says that on the day that I die. But what we say is “You’re kidding! It’s not right! It’s not fair!” As if we were ever promised to live forever. As if dying wasn’t a part of the deal the whole time. Funny how we act about that.
Maybe all this death talk is because I’ve been feeling so deathly lately. I was on a pretty good streak for a while there, I’d been doing better than normal. My energy level was up and my pain tolerable. As a result, I pushed myself a little bit over the edge so today when I softly blinked my eyes open around 7 AM my head was like GOOD MORNING YOU HAVE A MIGRAINE TODAY. And I was like, “Loud and clear. Thanks, head.” Not the best way to wake up, but once again modern medicine rescued me. Now I am migraine free, but wide awake and wondering if I should sketch out my funeral plans. OK, sorry, I’ll stop with the morbidity. But I’d like to let it be known, it doesn’t depress me to talk about death. In fact, it excites me. I don’t think you should sit around sulking all day. But I don’t think it should be avoided like it is. Once my brother Nick and I were talking about it, and he said “I mean, it’s gotta be a cool experience, right?” And I totally agree with that. Death has to be cool. But most people don’t wanna talk death with me. They wanna talk about birth control or facebook or Mitt Romney and sometimes while people are talking, the words “We’re all going to end up dead,” are circling around in my mind in one of those cartoon bubbles. And I say these words with joy! I swear. It doesn’t make me sad. It’s just such an incredible mystery. Why aren’t we talking about it?! Can’t a girl just get a cup of coffee and have a light hearted conversation about life and dying and tentative funeral plans? Good grief.
I guess I am still working out my death issues. This is the part where I wish I saw an analyst so I could say “My analyst seems to believe I am going through a minor existential crisis as I confront my own mortality and begin to humbly accept that this life, while precious, is temporary.” But I don’t. Analysts are expensive. And my mom is pretty good in these areas. Anyway she says the death dreams are just my subconscious fears playing themselves out. I suppose it’s your basic fear of the unknown. Plus, its not like I’ve been able to ask any of the people I know who are dead to tell me about the whole dying thing. Wait, that is a really good idea. Why haven’t I asked all the dead people I know how the whole dying experience is?! Duh, I have so many sources! I’m going to say a little prayer tonight, ask for some answers, and hopefully stop thinking about the things that I cannot control and that I can’t know now. Everything in due time. Everything.
Health, Happiness, Elephant Poop.