Vigil for the Living
There are no right words this week.
I return to a community in mourning. 36 loved ones brought a few thousand lovers to the lake for abbreviated eulogies and candle lighting.
My friends, you awaken into a world that pains you. Shock and frustration layer upon themselves, thickening the blindfold we take turns wearing to embrace the onslaught of shifts in power. We pick our battles, muting our screams and shouts of agony, which at full pitch, fall short of loud enough to fill the silence of absence.
I’m sorry your friend is gone.
I apologize on behalf of the unapologetic and for that which no apologies can bring comfort.
It feels not enough to have faith, to imagine a beautiful space for your friend to inhabit, where you illuminate their humor and their quirks for eternity. It feels not enough to imagine their physicality, what was once touchable and huggable, turning into dust, into trees, into sky.
Why them? Why now?
At once they are nowhere and everywhere, somewhere completely inaccessible to us, except in the new versions of memories we call upon to give us some peace, context for having and not having. We have more ladders, stairways, and hills to climb with those still touchable and huggable, those who mourn with us. In this way, we are united again. Forever, but not really.
Tell me, does a part of you wish they took you with them? Wherever they are must be better than this slice of reality that cuts so quickly and so deeply it takes a full second to begin to bleed.
Let it bleed.
It’s okay to feel disappointed, as long as we’re not disappointed with each other.
Laugh until you cry. Cry until you laugh.
Especially consider how the contract for life offered you awe and hope, while underplaying the tacit agreement to bewildering moments of pain.
We’ve already made it this far. We might as well keep going.
We don’t have forever.