This morning, I learned that my mentor and friend passed away.
This was not a surprise. It’s been a long time coming, but that makes it no less sad. She had been struggling for so long, and she was finally where she wanted to be. She was tired.
I feel guilty for wishing she was still around. I feel greedy for wanting more of her. I feel disappointed that she wanted to go.
Why would she make this choice? Doesn’t she know how people need her?
And then there’s this weird grief- in her mind, I think she wouldn’t want people to grieve for her, because she’s finally where she wanted to be. But, she’s not with us (or her family) anymore.
And then there’s this strange impermanence of our existence that really bothers me. Why do things keep going when someone’s life is snuffed out? Shouldn’t the world stop too?
And this is going to sound really ridiculous, but when I experienced grief (my grandmother dying, putting my beloved pets down), I felt like everything should stop. Go away. Furniture that existed before them, and continues to exist beyond them, shouldn’t. Nothing should.
And yet I want things to go back to ‘business as usual’ as fast as possible. When people are nice and sweet, and understanding, and sad too, it makes it so much worse! Stop being so understanding! Can’t we move on? Forget?
The one time I was really upset and went in to work after putting down my pig Perrie, I went to work because being at home, alone, was the worst alternative. I sat silently at work, trying to hold it together. A coworker was joking around and noticed I wasn’t really responding, and she came to ask why. I told her, expecting her to be sort of like ‘well, it’s just a pet’ but she was so understanding. She said grief is grief, there’s no trump card with it, we all experience it. It’s no less for you today.
I totally lost it at work, collapsed in a shower of tears.
Why can’t it be business as usual? Because people are nicer than that.