We were at the funeral of the father of a dear friend of mine and my intentions were good: I wanted to comfort her, to be strong for her, to assure her I had her back and offer her a calm, steady, reassuring “everything´s gonna be ok” smile. The whole scheme was perfectly planned in my mind. I have to honour my usual role: the positive warrior who doesn´t fall on her knees. EVER.
-Come on, baby…come on…don´t cry…- she told me, patting me on the back while we hugged. She. Not me, the friend who was supposed to console her. Geez!
Her father was being buried – not mine; yet she was the one who had to clean and,eventually, make my tears stop from falling. Our hearts were connected – synchronized beating. I sobbed like a baby while trying to speak wise words that could calm her down. What a failure; what a clown.
Life´s messy. Often hard. Impredictable. Quite impossible to understand – it´s always a step ahead of our comprehension, just to keep us humble, that´s all. And I hate to cry in public – hate it. I hate not being the strong pillar that holds everyone up – hate it. Bah! To hell with hate.
It´s a cliché but there´s a reason why we return to it over and over again: death exists so we can appreciate the value of life the same way darkness exists so we can see what light is.
Rain was falling on our heads, impregnating the earth and the remains of so many lonely strangers whose bodies rest in that cemetery. As the body of my friend´s father went down, I couldn´t stop but thinking about her pain and, simultaneously, what a gift it is to remain on the surface.
– I really don´t wanna go down there…not yet…not for a long time, if possible. – I talked to God or whoever decides these things.
Being alive, alive, alive: feeling the touch of that sombre rain and my friend´s hug. Feeling ashamed for my weakness; hiding my face while I cried; watching the atmosphere turn blue – a pure, sad, filled with compassion blue. Even my tears – what a gift!
I´m not good at fragile spots. The trick is to jump ahead, put a smile on my face and focus on the POSITIVE. I´m a damn good actress and pretending all is ok when I´m dying inside is my favourite hobby, my surname, a secret weapon which can so easily turn against me.
The trick failed, this time, but I could feel happy – in a strange way – for everybody´s sadness. It means we´re still alive, still human, still holding each other when we need the most (even when the strong pillar becomes the weak link and the weak link becomes the pillar).
It takes death to make us feel alive. It takes destruction to remind us of the essential. So be it.
Cheers to LIFE and to every event – sad or happy – that reminds us of its value.