Life feels so impermanent.
On the flight home, we hit terrible turbulence. We all knew we were flying into a storm and a collective din of nervous murmurs filled the air at every jolt. The engine closest to my window groaned noisily and I suddenly became terrified we would plummet from the clouds, that no engine could make noises like that without a failure imminent in its future. But fear serves no purpose. If it was going to happen, it would happen, regardless of how scared I was.
I closed my eyes & thought, "Pretend this is a bus," relaxing into the bumps and swerves. It's all about perspective. I love long road trips where I'm not driving, so I dozed off. (That was not the time to ponder the physics of flight!)
The worst thing about dying suddenly is not being able to say goodbye. What would you wish your loved ones could know if something ever happened to you? I would want to tell them, "please don't let this ending end your life too. Be happy. Give back. Don't think dark thoughts, those are so tiny in the giant picture -- please don't think about my last moments. If you can't help yourself, read The Lovely Bones, I dunno. Please be okay. No one can ever be okay with death but maybe you can pretend I'm still holding your hand. Love you. Keep living for me."
This is probably along the lines of what my dad would want to say, but we cannot speak of the end right now. The thought that there will be an end has made us too raw. But I have known people who didn't even have that chance. I know I am lucky.
Something strange happens when faced with mortality. You want to shake people into accountability: Own yourself. Live the fucking life you want. Why aren't you happy? What are you waiting for?
All the morbid thoughts I ever had in my life about loss are useless. They don't prepare you for it. You must push those thoughts aside to live, but ignoring them can be a lure into stasis.
"The trouble is, you think you have time." --Buddha
I've been thinking about an annoying side effect of shitty self-esteem. It's selfish. Because it makes everything about you. Other people's rejection, their feelings, their hard times, their wants and desires, well, it isn't about you. Paradoxically, feeling small equals a distorted sense of grandiosity if you think you can affect another that much. No one is that powerful.
We can be powerful, however, by helping others.