Thursday, March 14, 2013
George is gone. Becoming part of our family at six-weeks old, after 13 years and five-plus months, he left last Friday morning at 4:30.
At night when I lie down knowing that I must sleep in case I wake up and have to go to work, mournful sighs seep out of the part of me where George used to live. For a long moment, I thought of hanging myself, maybe somewhere near our landlord's appliance-train in the northeastern corner of our backyard. This morning, I scanned the yard for an easily accessible stout tree, then remembered -- I live in an urban desert.
Frankly, something about the choices and options of how to end a life seem limited, at best. As with most parts of life, the less money you have, your do-in-yourself options barely exist. I mean...walk in front of a bus, jump off a bridge. That's pretty much it for the poor folks.
You'd think when it came to the end of one's life choice that God might demonstrate a flash of equitable charity -- all same in the end? Equal at the end -- one swift shared moment.
Rhetorically, we catch ourselves often saying, "I know how you feel..." I think it's possible that we might know how a person really feels, yet I'm fully aware of the impossibility of actually knowing. When surrendering to my daydreams in the middle of the night, I like to amuse myself: I think of the possibility of everyone's "last" feeling being the same, precisely the same. It would be the sole opportunity to be certain that we know how someone else "feels."
One bona fide collective experience felt in a singular way. It seems like God might opt to do something propicious in that singular last gasp. Finally a single truth, an exclusive experience -- a universally shared intimacy, at the end.
It's like there's something stuck in my throat. It tastes like sadness.