Today turned out to be a time of reflection on life and death and change and permanency. My own personal losses—parents, child—and losses affecting many more people.
I’ve always thought of myself as more of a skeptic. I like proof, two or more reputable sources, things I can touch or see or hear. But the losses I’ve experienced have taught me an unshakable knowledge that death is…not. I’ve had too many experiences—things I’ve felt or seen or heard—that can only be explained if there is far more to our existence, our reality, than what can be interpreted by our very human senses.
I am changed by every person who has come into my life, from the people I’ve met out in the world to the characters that come to life on book pages and screens. And even if they leave my presence, leave their bodies behind for me to bury, leave when the book ends or the screen goes dark, I am better for it.
And even if they are not in my sight or hearing or touch, there is a part of them, a permanence, an energy, that will never, ever cease. It will transform and return in some way. In the very physical sense I had of my mother holding my hand, or of my father squeezing my shoulders, or of my daughter watching while I painted my home office sunflower yellow. In the stories that seem to write themselves, the words that come unbidden in conversation, the urge to speak to a friend.
I am left tonight ever more certain that no one has actually, really departed, and that while I may sometimes feel alone, it is, in reality, quite impossible.
The story continues. It will always continue in some way. Energy can be neither created nor destroyed. Only transformed. And us with it.