witty-remark's Diaryland Diary

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When it first happens, it happens so suddenly that you don’t even realize it’s happened at all. Even if you were expecting it, even if you grow up knowing that every birth is punctuated by a death, even then, when it happens you figure you did something wrong because everyone is subject to death other than you and everybody that you love. If your admiration, adoration, or even slight acknowledgement has lit their life in any capacity, they aren’t allowed to die. They’re so far and inconceivably excused from death in your mind that you never even entertain the thought. Which makes its reality unbearable. To call it a ‘reality’ is in itself ironic since its very violent, halting, invasive occurrence in your life seems surreal. You know it happened. But you feel that it didn’t. No, they’re not dead, they’re out at the grocery store. You reassure yourself over and over again, but every now and then during the most banal activities it strikes you like a gong to your heart.
“Oh my God, I’m walking to the bus stop AND THEY’RE DEAD. I’m a person walking to a bus stop who knows, who knew, who loves, who loved, a person that’s dead. That’s not breathing. That’s bones, and skins, and guts and a heavy empty hollow mass, buried underground.”

The trivial comes to bear the greatest significance. The flowers they send for condolences just remind you of things that live--that are living. You come to compare the lifespan of every object to the one of the person whom died.
“Their watch is still ticking; it outlived them. This fridge magnet lasted longer than they did. This carton of milk had a greater expiration date.”

Nothing matters and everything does. You want to feel selfish and sorry for yourself but you can't when people tell you it’s okay to feel those things. So when acquaintances, strangers piecing together loose conversation in the elevator ask you how your weekend was, you don’t say: “horrible, torturous, miserable, terrifying, bad. Sad, very, very sad.” Instead, you grit your teeth, smile your placid smile, and as you watch the elevator doors shut and rise to the next floor, you say “fine.”

10:20 p.m. - Monday, Nov. 14, 2011

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