The unbearable lightness of being
Thursday, July 06, 2017
Often in the wee hours, after everyone else in the house is safely slumbering, my restless mind dwells on imponderables. The most difficult thoughts are about the things most important to me - or I should say, the people I love most. And I find myself thinking into circles, or into a frightening place, until I calm myself with mindless eating. So, with the goal of breaking that unhealthy cycle, here I go trying to put some of those thoughts into concrete words, so that next time there will be less mental swirling and I won't be reaching for the tub of nuts.
I often think about the hub, and how easy it has been to follow through on our pledge of lifetime devotion. We have been growing old together for 25 years now, with each year speeding by more quickly than the last. I imagine our lives in a decade, then in two - and then I run out of time. I try to picture life without him, or his without me, and my mind then slips into imagining the darkness of the final nothingness, and of all our love and experiences and memories dissipating into the ether ... and it's a bit terrifying in its finality.
So then I drag my mind away to focus more happily on our kids - vessels of all our hope and adoration. I have a lot of words, but not nearly enough to describe how much I absolutely adore them. Fortunately the inadequacy of my words means that I can't stifle them with the enormity of all my ... "feels" (as the kids would say). I imagine their futures. I imagine who they will be at my age. I imagine their being as old as I, and I being long gone, and all of my thoughts and memories being lost in the past ... and once again I'm a bit overwhelmed by the finality of it all.
And then I think of my father, who died 26 years ago. I think of his memories, thoughts, hopes, fears, dreams - all lost now. I think of my mother, who has been waiting patiently to join him. I imagine how devastated I will be when her time comes, and hope it will be far off in the future. I wonder if I will have her grace if I am fortunate enough to live as long - will the end be less shatteringly grim to contemplate?
This miracle of life seems to tenuous, so fragile, so delicately precious, in my late night musings. What else is there to do but to fully embrace while we can, to make an abundance of loving memories while we are able to enjoy each other? I think of all 7+ billion of us, each with our swirling thoughts and emotions, and each with our irrevocable final, eternal destination. It's truly awesome, this being human.