It's lonely here on the side lines of life waiting for it to happen, seeing it happen to others. So it's time to get in the game as they say. "This ain't no dress rehearsal" and all those other euphemisms that go along with the "live life in the now", "you only have today", "here today gone tomorrow" yadda yadda philosophy.
Well seems it's true. Of course we all know it - we just play ignoring games with the death-shy part of us that doesn't want to. Being widowed and deeply grieving for my lost love of 34 years gave me plenty of fodder to contemplate while living in the past, mired in sadness and loss. It (save for a few forays to connect with the outside world by trying out tango lessons, landscape photography and having loved ones cook for me and offer a bed to my sorry drunk self) is an extremely lonely isolating place to be, especially for as long as I have needed to be there. This death space, this grieving thing. Life and death. Hang on I'll get to the point.
Back to well it seems it's true -this here and now is life- philosophy. My aunt died suddenly last week, her the youngest of all those elder siblings in my dad's family. And it got me thinking about all these things... There is much more to come now that I am passed mid life, death isn't fair, it doesn't strike the oldest or most infirm first, many people handle death differently than I do, death leaves behind so many heartbroken people, would my adult children look like that if I died? for all your death thinking you don't contemplate your own do you? shock on a newly bereaved spouse has a look that I can recognize across a room, funerals are only for the living even if the dead person wanted one and there is always more we could know about each other, do for each other, love to show each other and honor we can bestow on each other before death comes to us. I took a long walk with Pax on the warmest day this spring and instead of enjoying this grief decided to give me a visit. I opened the door and let it in this time. Feeling how much I missed him, allowing myself to remember his voice, his mannerisms and feel their loss, not giving a shit that others saw the tears rolling down my face. Finally, this week I listened to this pondercast about death which I can't even begin to put in words let alone process it's eloquence and wisdom.
Simultaneously with all that happened about death this week, and is often the way, it got me thinking a lot about life. I've been saying for awhile now that I need to start participating in life again. What I mean by this is I need to stop doing things that deny me from living fully. Things that prevent me from fully celebrating this life I have now. Things like stuffing my creativity, thinking in black and white, partaking in tedious daily routines, zoning out in TV, hiding in my apartment, having faith in online dating, hating couples, hating, filthy habits that hurt my health. These "safe" ways I chose to view life from the sidelines were all done so I wouldn't have to experience things like what I talked about in the preceding paragraph. But here's the rub. Those things in the preceding paragraph are life, and living it! My way of viewing it on the sidelines is death. Imagine that, who'd a thunk it? Not me obviously.
So I am setting out to get in the game called life. Maybe I have learned what I needed to on the sidelines (because I do believe even periods of being mired in muck are growth and have lessons for us) and it doesn't need to be learned anymore, maybe I am just tired? I know this, being "in the game of life" can be just as difficult as viewing it from the sidelines, but....I just don't want to stay on the bench anymore, I want in the game. I don't want to miss the dance, because I love dancing.