Yesterday, began with a ‘to-do list,’ a ‘DRAFT column’ to polish, and expectations.
And it was April Fools’ Day.
But I wasn’t feeling funny.
Not in the way, when you call small children to come quickly, to see those elephants in the driveway.
I watched as much bad-TV news as I could tolerate, read my bad-news-papers, ate breakfast, and then sat with coffee in hand, looking out a window, looking back on a year, searching inside for better understanding of this life and living it, of Barry’s life and leaving it … mourning.
Emotions begging to go splat on this page.
I envy monkeys flinging feelings/shite against a wall. I crave their freedom. I feel somewhat like that wall, somewhat like their shite.
In our Canadian legal system, the term adjournment means when things are set over to some future date, to be argued again, or decided at last – watching it sometimes resembles monkeys pelting that wall all over again. Anyone who watches TV courtroom dramas will add, the American term for that is getting a continuance.
Same thing, same impact.
In Merriam-Webster’s thesaurus function, I pasted ‘continuance,’ in search of more words, similar words, and better words.
A synonym: lifetime.
Then lifetime’s synonyms: continuance, date, duration, life, life span, run, standing, time.
April 1st, one year ago, my friend Barry died. I flew to Vancouver for his April 3rd funeral and burial.
Mood swings a year ago were massive.
I wish I was a monkey, wish I had a wall …
One year later, a mellow mix of his presence on earth mixed with this lousy news blur, which has become our daily numbing … sad news so many thousands of people, illness and death are everywhere, as they are always are, but now everybody is engrossed in waves of information. Little good news. Lots of sad. So many lost, so many grieving their losses.
So who am I, to spend time and keystrokes on someone who died a year ago?
So much easier to be docile in self-isolation, keeping our distance from one another, and from life so we can keep our distance from death.
Like most readers of this column, my daily inundation with bad news, sad news, and predictions of impending worse news makes having a pleasant and calm reflective day nearly impossible.
But I tried.
Barry would have wanted me to try.
I see him so easily in my mind – memories of laughter, our face to face and phone times, memories of working on deals together (sometimes on opposite sides of the fence, often on the same side) in the world of adversarial transactions. I see him so peacefully, as if I had superpowers to see him in repose through his coffin top – grinning back at me as we shoveled earth on top of him. I have that experience in me, playing over like a streaming video, as clear now as then. As powerful now, as it was then.
At times like this, I believe we all want an explanation of life; some passage, some song lyric, some demonstration that our short lives have long-lasting value and values.
Someone buried does not die; they live on in us, no longer burdened by trappings of day-to-day stuck in traffic, missing a flight, forgetting something, balancing books, and balancing relationships. Death gives people time, the time we don’t take each day for looking out a window, staring at a ceiling, or talking on the phone to friends and family. The dead are given a continuance, an exemption from constraints.