I am angry today.
Angry and sad, but not in equal measures, but the math of it doesn’t matter, what matters is the reasons and the cure.
I go today to say farewell to a friend, someone I have known for much of my life, someone who is only a couple of years older than I am and is going on the journey far too soon.
I am sad at Joe’s passing, sad at the number of funerals that have come through my life in the last couple of years, sad at the pain that death causes for the living and sad because of the beautiful lives that are simply missing from us now.
I am sad because the goodbyes were always incomplete, sad because of the loss of hope at the end and sad because those of us left behind must try to figure out how to comfort each other. I have many facets to my sadness, but I can sleep easy with the sadness, it is the anger that keeps me up at night.
I am not angry at death, as that would be pointless. It is an inevitability, an eventuality that is waiting for us all and I am at peace with that. I am also not angry at those who have passed, as they have done nothing but followed the course to its eventual end.
I am angry at the dead who still walk among us.
The complacency and disregard for this tremendous gift of life that we are given is devastating to me. We stagger forward, awash in our indifference, armored in our fear and quick with a proverb or an excuse as to why we are not living to our utmost and making every day shine like the precious thing that it is.
“I don’t have time.”
“I don’t have money.”
“Mommy didn’t love me enough.”
“I picked the wrong ___” (spouse, career, neighborhood, major, sports team)
“God hates me” (Or life, or my car, or the world, or my computer, or my car, SOMETHING hates me.)
“I didn’t get that part in the play when I was 13.”
“Mom hated me.”
“So and so broke my heart.”
“I’m too old.”
“I’m nothing special.”
“I’m too fat (skinny, plain, weird, crazy, emotional, dorky, ugly, male, female)”
“I’m too young.”
That last one really pisses me off.
You were born with the tools you need to DO, to BE, to LIVE!
Stop waiting, stop putting off your joy, your love, your very lives! What are you waiting for? The next time? Your next chance? Your next spin on the coaster?
There isn’t a next time. And even if there is, it will not be one where you remember this time, and so, once again, you will be complacently sitting around, flipping channels, scrolling screens, thumbs upping worthless bullshit and lamenting the dead.
Stop giving death so much say in your life. I don’t want to see you celebrating the anniversary of someone’s death anymore. “Oh Prince died a year ago, I need to raise a glass of purple kool-aid in his honor.”
No! Stop it!
If you want to celebrate someone, celebrate their birthdays, even after they are gone. Celebrate their accomplishments, not their deaths unless their death was the single greatest achievement of their lives.
Bukowski said, “We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”
This will be a short post because I want you to spend the rest of your day living, loud, beautifully and full of love! Love for people, places, music, animals, or for the sheer joy of the fact that you are living.
No more excuses.
There isn’t any more time.
This is all we are going to get.
I dare you…
I double dog dare you.