Immaturing Nicely, Thank you. Two
The Quest: A Job. Challenging, Interesting, Meaningful. CIM. Remember?
Attempt Most Recent: Being a Funeral Director. That should do it right? It doesn’t’ get more CIM than that, does it. So that’s what I threw myself into, for about 5 months. It was amazing. I collected dead people. I drove them away from their homes. Sometimes I sang to them. I talked to them. I tried not to swear. I helped them to empty their earthly shells of the contents they no longer needed. To help them return to dust. I dressed them, I released them to the incinerator, to the earth. I stood on the fringes of the family members left behind and witnessed raw grief, whole lifetimes of memories, struggles and triumphs. Joy and pain came roaring through on a bullet train, racing out of the dark, always in the dark, no matter what the hour. A blazing, cyclopic-faced engine, ‘I can see the light….’ That’s all you see. It’s going so fast, you only feel the coaches, each one carrying the contents of that one life, rushing through dark time, on the final journey over the cliff and into the unknown.
I provided encouragement to them at the door of the viewing room - and open arms as they stumbled out in need of a hug from a stranger. Because sharing grief among the people with whom they shared the same blood was too difficult.
I learned to be less visible. That there really wasn’t any excuse to make it about me. I understood that, for most, if we are lucky enough to die in our 7th, 8th or 9th decade and beyond, there will be a period of intense suffering. Death is not pretty and it is always sad. Even if the person on the trolley has lived a life that ended with a poor score sheet - that fact in itself is sad. It is sad when there has clearly been more suffering inside a body than nurture, and that suffering has been present long before the body ceased to be inhabited by life.
I don’t do it anymore.
Being Productive in the absence of the Attempt Most Recent: The other day I baked two cakes, one for my neighbours and one for my sons. I wrote a love song for my husband. We threw a leaving party for some friends. I plunged raw sewage for an hour in the dark to try to assuage the effects of the party on our septic tank. I am reading Big Magic. I am trying.
Inconsequential Fact: In our 18 years together I have only written one love song specifically for my husband.