Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hard & Bitter Agony

I've been assured by a friend of mine who has a line on the future that this year is going to be a good one. I'm glad of that. Not that last year was a bad year for me, but it was, well, let's just say it was a sobering year for me. Not a year I'd like to repeat. I was reminded of my own mortality a little too harshly. I've had to - gasp - change things in my life to ensure my continuity. I know, call me a diva, but that's the way I am. Like I always say to my kids: I'm a slow learner.

This year is adding its own challenges, but I feel more confident about them, thankfully, which is nice because one of these new challenges is rather daunting.

I've taken on a new job. Not a paid job, I should emphasize, but it involves enough hours and skills that it SHOULD be a (highly) paid job. I'm taking on this job partly because of my kids and partly because the former occupant of this position is dying of pancreatic cancer. The diagnosis was 6 months ago and the terminus is "at any moment." When I last saw this person they were hale and hearty. They were having a really good hair day, too. They looked beautiful. Happy. I remember thinking "Why does ____ always have such EXCELLENT hair? I always look so raggedy!" And now this person is on the verge of moving on to another world, at the grand old age of forty one.

I feel highly annoyed. It's just not fair. This person is younger than I am. This person has kids - and a spouse. This person was vital to their community. This person shouldn't be dying like this, leaving behind such emotional devastation.

And even though I'm quite far from this person's circle of life I feel the impact. Why is it that good people die like this, while there are idiots out there doing all manner of stupid things, to themselves and their children, not to mention to complete strangers? I'm religious in my way, but not religious enough to take this sort of event terribly philosophically. It just doesn't seem fair.

So while I'm glad that this year is going to be a positive one, I'm also looking back, over my shoulder, with a bit of a narrowed eye. I felt a bit like this:

I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.


Suji said...

What does anyone say to something like this? Sending you many hugs. And I hope whatever reminded you of your mortality is fully healed and will not be showing its face ever again.

Samantha said...

I'm also hoping you are fully healed and whatever it was is gone forever. I know I'm far away, but if there is anything I can do, let me know.

I almost lost someone very close to me last year, which was a real eye opener to what is important. Can't say I'm sad to see 2011 leave. It had it good moments, but they feel overshadowed by those weeks of awfulness. I don't know what it is about flipping the calender, but it's definitely lifted my spirit and renewed my hope.