If there was a cosmic type of revenge on assholes; it isn’t their death. Death, at its best, is a reward for those that do not live up to their potential. Or at least I think that a cross section of humanity find a proverbial fire exit when they die. The only people that seemed to be punished by death are the decent. The greatest punishment is seeing people that you have had around you pass away.
It seems to come to me in unpredictable waves. I find someone that I knew from the community or even friend’s family members pass along. It isn’t just one type of person. It is family, friends, and even folks that I mistakenly called inconsequential. Every person had a piece of the pie of life and the small sliver that they had is becoming a distant measurement as time marches on. I know that being immensely upset at their passing is fruitless but it stays with me.
I think that the hardest thing about their deaths is not the loss of the past but that many of the survivors are pushed into positions in life that we often had no intention of filling. A great example is that I never had any expectation that I might have been someone’s mentor but as long as I survive, I am slowly shifting into the role. I am someone’s uncle and neighbor. I know someone’s dad. I easily am the guy that has a list of odd experiences behind me. Years down the road, I easily could be mistaken for that weird “middle aged guy”. I might be the person some middle schooler might interview for a military subject report. It is unfortunate. I had every intention of being a young, stupid slob but I ended up a muscular, jaded college graduate. One of the hardest position that a survivor has is a person that receives the news.
I had a family member get sick and pass away. This man is someone I had only met a few times since he joined our family. I had no opinion about him. He was courteous and he apparently loved his family. The news of his illness was sad. His death came soon after. I heard this news and felt for his family. In baseball terms; they were missing a beloved left fielder. I hated hearing the news, as much as I hated hearing what came afterward.
His family, after his burial, contacted my family with bizarre news. The gentleman had amassed a large collection of shoes. The weirdest part is that he had huge feet. Yes, I found it to be funny enough to laugh about. His feet were the same size as mine. Naturally; I came home to an overfull hamper full of shoes. Boots, driving shoes, muckboots, sneakers, etc. I had felt weird enough that I didn’t have the best words to share and now I was gifted with a deadman’s shoes. I was told that I didn’t have to feel bad. I am thankful to expand my ridiculous shoe collection even further.
I just don’t think that I look forward to hearing from my closest about our family’s loss of life. I know its coming and everyone has to take their turn. I just don’t look forward to it.
I am hoping that my own death is worthwhile. Not a preditcable affair or one of suffering but within a comical purpose, or a heroic one. Like stopping a bank robbery after getting shot in the junk with a shotgun blast. I hope that it is a grand exit and that my family not be burdened with the sad event but laughing as they scatter my ashes where the need be disposed of.