• Malialani Dullanty

Interstitial :: October

"Experience, that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my god do you learn."

CS Lewis

I have seen what many might consider "a lot" of death in my life. Loved ones lost to suicide, disease, cancer, age... but there is always someone who has more names to mourn. It mostly just exhausts me. I am not afraid of death or what might be waiting on the other side. I firmly believe it is just the next great adventure, the page turning on this glorious story we are all participating in. Wondrous beings made of stars and greater things, onto and into the next universe - whatever it may be. But it is still exhausting. I miss the ones who have left me behind. I am lonely without them walking beside me through this part of the journey. My heart mourns them, even while my head knows the next thing for them is just marvelous.

And it comes in waves, sometimes overwhelming the senses, other times just washing over my toes.

Despite my experience in this matter, I have no advice. There is nothing to be done. Life will happen to you in the best, awful, lovely, brutal, most wonderful, terrible, and beautiful ways - and so will death. You will experience it in the same way you experience the rest of your life. If you hold onto to quiet strength, you will do so when your loved ones pass away. If you rage against your life, you will rage against death. If you experience each thing so deeply it is a part of you, so will death be.

Life exhausts me, and so it would be that death does as well.

There are tools and tricks to better cope and deal with dying and death the morbid concepts that lie within the tomb. But ultimately we will each experience it's fallout differently. What another darling expression of our diversity.

I find death visits me in groups. If it is one, then it is two, then it is three. Babies born on the outside edges, marriages blossoming around it, life still rambling on after it's brief respectful pauses to pay tribute to the dead. This season of life is no different than any other. Random gatherings of death surrounding loved ones, creating breaks in our regular patterns to celebrate their lives or mourn their pages turned or something else entirely.

Sometimes death comes as a relief. An end to suffering or struggle. A release.

But even then, it is a sad sense of relief.

We are in the midst of death and the repercussions that come with it. Not just the death of my grandfather, but the deaths of other beloved souls and friends Lisa and Chuck and Karen. We are mourning, with so many others, the loss of any dignity our country had left over these past few weeks. We are heartbroken over the pain and suffering infesting our world. We are devastated at deaths of certain ideas and expectations we had in our own lives.

I am realizing this blog maybe doesn't belong in the "interstitial" category.

This is maybe just more of a lament for the current state of our world.

Death is the sharp edge of the knife, making quick neat work of separating someone or something from attachments. Life afterwards, for those left behinds, is the messy removal of that knife, evaluating what can be saved and healed, taking note of what must be let go of.

The sort.

But we carry on, fighters that we are. We sort and we heal and we continue to feel pain. We find what we can to hold onto and we release the rest. Sometimes with open hands, other times with broken fingers as things were pried away, distinguishable by the claw marks.

Death is inevitable, but thankfully? So is life.



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