The relief I feel being surrounded by family today was unexpected and welcome. Three trips to the airport and the warmth with each new face has been calming instead of anxiety-inducing like I prepared myself for. The decisions made today were not done lightly or with any sort of ease. I was confiding in a friend last night and this is what they said, “We come to accept death. Accept our mortality. Embrace the idea of an afterlife and reunion, etc., but the passing and saying goodbye still sucks horrendously and we can’t help but feel devastated about it.” It’s true. Despite coming here knowing in the back of my mind this could happen, I’m gutted.
I’ve been thinking a lot about age and the perceptions we have. Maybe I’m alone in these thoughts, so bear with me. When I was a child, everyone older than myself was so much wiser. I used to think, man I can’t wait until I’m that grown up until I have all those answers. Then I got older and still carried these thoughts around, only at some point I became one of the people the younger generation assumed held the secrets to knowledge. Only I never really felt that way. In my twenties, everyone older still seemed wiser. In my thirties, that perception hasn’t changed. Only the people who are in my age bracket, still feel to me as young as I do. We’re all just scrambling around trying to sort out who we are, what we want out of life, and how to get it. Will this perception ever change or as I grow older will it always sort of be this way? The day I realized my parents were only human without some secret handbook was the day I realized I might never figure this whole adulting thing out.
We are all simply human; doing the best we can every day. Making hard life-altering decisions all the time. What house or town to live in, what job to hold, which friends to fight for and which to let go of. I guess no one ever said it would be easy. I just sort of wish there really was a handbook to life. Something to explain all the ins and outs. Something that could warn me when I was doing it wrong and praise me when I get it right.
Today my uncle kept asking if we were having a party. We started to make up different scenarios in where someone went line dancing, or someone else had a bit too much to drink. Anything to get a smile. The reality is, in a way we are having a party, although party isn’t the word I would use. We have been celebrating his life. We’ve been sharing stories, laughter, and tears. The stories keep flowing in and everyone has a hundred they could share. So we do. He has impacted so many lives. I never realized to what compacity until this week.
As much as it hurts, I’m glad I’m here.