on death

Today I guess the worlds wants me to write about death or at least think about death in a way I do not from day-to-day. It’s only one o’clock, I am only having coffee, and yet it feels like the whole day has been one conversation about death. A remarkably bright student of mine gave a presentation in my class this morning, a blog she had created, and one post spoke specifically on her belief that people are not meant to be in our lives forever, that the nature of relationships is a transitory one. So I started thinking about old boyfriends, not that they are dead, but just how people leave. And then I thought about Adam, who really is dead. I found out our cat was at the vet. I had a dream he died the other night but I have been too afraid to tell you that. He is so old and I know how much you love him. I rode my bike home, and while I was locking it up, this old woman who reminded me of the old women in Europe with shawls tied around their heads and small curling statures, handed me a brochure. I tucked it under my arm and went inside to hide from the cold and climbing my stairs I read it: “Can The Dead Really Live Again?” On the inside it quoted lines from the bible about resurrection, and I thought about Clyde and his nine lives. It quoted things on the afterlife and I thought about whether or not we have souls, and then it said something about freeing me from my morbid fears of death. But I do not have morbid fears of death. So I threw it in the trash. And I thought I would have all these things to say about death, or how I deal with death but they weren’t there. I looked for them and they weren’t there. But then, as this day seems to goes, this incredibly breathtaking piece of non-fiction on the “Benefits of Anticipatory Grief,” by the incredibly talented Janet Frishberg, a lovely young woman I had the chance to get to know at Squaw Valley Writers Workshop, found its way to me. So, please read it because, as writing can often do, it says what I could not find the words to say today.