Monday, September 5, 2011

The grace of pain

Sometimes death enters the room in padded slippers.  Sometimes he crashes through the gate on a glossy black steed.  It doesn’t matter how he arrives.  The result is always the same.

I have seen his various methods of arrival - pompous and pretentious, sudden and surreptitious, acquiescing and accepting.  Death gets bored and needs to mix it up. 

Those left behind know that hearing his footsteps helps you prepare for the loss.  It gives parameters to the hole in your life.  It helps you make sense of the loss during your grief.

They also know that when he storms the gate and rips your life into shreds, there is really no repairing that tear.  That gaping wound is yours for life.  It will ache less in ten years, even less in twenty, but it will cling to you like a spider web. 

The problem is that modern life makes no room for that clinging sorrow.  We knew once, as a species, that there was a place for that sorrow.  It served a purpose.  It made us aware, sentient, compassionate.

Now there is no time.  Hurry up and snap out of it.  There is life to live, money to be made, fun to be had.  There is therapy available, drugs to take, partying to assuage the pain.  Pain = evil.  Pain = weakness.


Pain is necessary.

Enduring pain makes you human.

Surviving pain with grace makes you divine.


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