Constant Companion

I was listening to a Moth podcast tonight in which a funeral home director talked about his long history of burying people's loved ones.

He said he believed that when we die, we go home. I thought that sounded so beautiful and comforting. 

I wonder, when I die, what Dave would think of me when I came home? What would that reunion be like? Would it be as if no time had passed between his death and mine? Would he he say he was glad I had found happiness after his death and that he was proud of me for pushing onward even when I didn't want to?

My favorite image of Dave is of him on the riding lawn mower, waving at me when I pulled into the driveway at the end of a workday. He had this ridiculous wave where he'd shake his whole forearm madly and give me a goofy grin. I was absolutely sure, in the pit of me, that he was thrilled for me to be home and that there was no one else on the planet he'd rather be with than me. 

That's how I hope he'll greet me when I see him again. I hope I'll see him again. I hope I get to see my mom and dad, too. I hope we all reunite, even if just for a moment before we go on our next journeys. 

It's an interesting experience, having your foundational loved ones on the other side, out of reach. Your life continues on this side, and you value it and have cultivated joy here, but there are those people you long for, out of reach. And being with them again, if that's possible, would mean leaving this life you love now, too, and the people you don't want to leave. 

So, I keep them with me and try to (frustratingly), experience them now in this new way. Their legacy, their memory, their love that lives within me now, the way their existence changed me fundamentally, and somehow learn to adjust to that reality, even though I'm earthbound and operate on a much more temporal and physical way. How do I maintain a relationship with someone I can't directly talk to and touch? It's one sided and I resent that. I feel as though I will always be missing out.  

But this is it. This is life and how it works. If it didn't end, we'd take our time here for granted even more than we already do. So, we live long enough and we will have to watch people go, one at a time. We grieve. We are sad. We are always missing someone, somewhere. It wouldn't be life without it. It is such an unequivocal fact. It's THE fact. And yet it's so hard to accept. 

Maybe only in dying do we actually understand and accept it. Maybe. I don't know. Maybe we do come home and we finally understand all that we couldn't quite make sense of on this side. 

It's hard to find peace with that, but I work on it daily because I have to. 


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