Saturday, June 30, 2007


This is the time period I was worrying about. Funeral's over. Wake's over. No planning, cleaning, note-writing, socializing left to do, and I have to get back into something resembling normal life. It's real quiet right now: the bird is up for the molt, work is leisurely, and there's just empty time. Too much of it.

And in that empty time the pain slips in and drives a rotary hoe over me. This week hasn't been good. It's the "never again" part that's the worst.

Everything I'm going through is perfectly normal, I'm sure, and possibly even fast-tracked. I guess this is the acceptance stage but I'm dragging my feet all the way.

Kubler-Ross's experiences with the temporarily dead led her to believe there is an afterlife, that we are met by predeceased friends and family and even pets. What we consider life is the stage before another life, and she describes it as a cocoon to butterfly transformation. I've never been much of a believer in afterlife; I'd consider it a two-edged sword. But I certainly can't prove it doesn't exist, and she has circumstantial evidence that it does. When I read that, I felt very emotional, like I'd like to believe it. Hopeful but uncertain.

If the mate is up there plucking a harp or floating around the ether I hope she's having a good time. I'd like her to. There's no way to know; you have to take it on faith and belief, of which I have never had a lot. I have to ask, is the concept of a guaranteed-pleasant afterlife of more use to the living? Is it a vehicle to get us back to feeling good, to allow us to forget what is now the past? Have you heard a widow/er utter with enviable confidence "I know s/he's in heaven now" when the subject was not all that great a human being, or even pretty much an asshole?

If you meet the Buddha in the road, kill him, for he is not the true Buddha. Never be complacent, and you'll become a better person. Not necessarily happier, but better.

Belief in afterlife leads to all sorts of nonsense (hem... rituals) for the living. Catholics burn candles and pray, Protestants and Muslims and Hindus pray, Asians sacrifice food and drink and paper cell phones and pray. We want to have some effect on the deceased soul's condition. I think that these would have very little effect on someone who is in a completely different state of being, a state we living persons cannot comprehend or conceive. However, I think that keeping a person in your heart and mind gives him/her sustenance, and prayer is just formalization of that.

If anything, I don't want to "get over" the mate. She'll always be part of my life, I will always miss her even if I find someone else. No one person can substitute for another because we're all different, we're all unique. And she was more unique than most: exceptionally intelligent, good-looking, fairly modest, silly-fun, and kind and thoughtful to boot. She had some hang-ups, depressions, there were ways in which I wished she'd been different, but overall she was the best human being I've known.

And I can only talk with her in my mind now, remember how she felt, skin muscles bone, remember her habits and tastes. I've started programming project, something that could give me a lot of kudos at work, and though I'm pretty unmotivated, I don't think I'm seriously depressed. I've been touched by it occasionally and it's a bit more frequent in this empty time. I need to go through the misery, go through the aloneness and just trust that it will ease up sometime.

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