I thought a lot about death over the weekend following Mr. Doeps’s memorial service on Friday. Even though I don’t know his wife well and his children at all, I couldn’t help but think he was a few months older than The Bean (who is 73) and she’s a few months older than The Toppie (72). My brain then fixated on Psalm 90:10:
“The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.”
It also got me thinking about a friend who died on June 12th, 2018. TJ. I didn’t blog about her passing because it felt hypocritical – we’d only been reconnected for a few months after not having spoken for almost two decades, and the reason we reconnected is too personal to post here.
People die every day. I was in first or second grade when my biological father’s brother committed suicide at the age of 36 by jumping off the roof of our building. His formal COD was ‘multiple injuries’. TJ died from illness-related complications, as did Malcolm. Paul and his son lost their lives in an accident. I felt heartache at the news of some of the losses, and I’ve been to many memorial services to pay my last respects, but I’ve not necessarily felt grief for the deceased. I shed more tears at Mr. D’s service than I did for some of my own family members who’ve passed on.
Why is it that some deaths affect us more than others? Is it because as we get older, we become more aware of our own mortality? Or is it because we have a better-developed sense of empathy for those left behind? Is it because if they die before 70, it feels (to me, anyway) unjust?
I was chatting to a friend last night about this and he asked me another ‘death’ question. Why do we grieve failed relationships because one party simply fell out of love, or left for greener pastures because things simply got too tough? If we really love somebody and they leave us for someone else, does it feel the same as someone who’s lost a spouse of twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, or even sixty years, like my maternal grandparents? Is it because part of us dies when the relationship ends? And if so, can that buried piece of us be resurrected if we deem ourselves young enough to love again?
I have no answers. Only more questions…
Here’s hoping the rest of the week calls for less philosophy and more fun.