So yesterday was my birthday. Yesterday I also found out that a lady I have worked with for a long time unexpectedly passed away. And not from a freak accident or car crash or anything like that. She just... passed.
It was a weird day.
I guess maybe it's fitting to be reminded of death on the day of your birth, the whole cyclical thing. But I hate thinking about it. And it's been a while since I've really HAD to.
I conversed for a while with one of my coworkers about her death, and we just kept coming back to the statement: "It's just so sad. She was such a nice woman." But IT DOESN'T MATTER. Nice or not, when you're plucked from this fabric, you're plucked. Without regard to who you are, what you do, how you're affecting the world at that moment in time. There's no discrimination there.
Death's so insistent that it makes me ANGRY sometimes.
Coincidentally, one of my other friends sent me an email yesterday noting his surprise at the fact that one of my big phobias is "death."
It's not that I fear death because of the possibility of pain or suffering or anything. I'm just afraid of not being around to be afraid of death any longer. I'm not afraid of dying. I'm just afraid of no longer existing.
I'm a nihilist. Strangely, I realized this only recently through conversations with N/A. But I guess I'm an annoying, optimistic nihilist (it's possible, apparently) 'cause even though I think that there is absolutely NO point to all this *waving my arms around*, to the "bigger picture," and to the fact that I will exist only fleetingly, for this very reason, the world and existence fucking FLOORs me, takes my breath away, leaves me in awe of how strange and wonderful it is that it all exists when really, there is no point to ANY of it. It makes every little thing I bear witness to DRIP with beauty and amazingness. And it makes me feel SICK some days about what it all means.
And I try to wrap my brain around the fact that at some point I won't be here to bear witness. And I just can't do it. I mean, I guess we actually DO live forever, since we won't be around to know we're no longer existing. So essentially, we ARE immortal--our timeline of experience will end, but we won't be there to note retrospectively that it's been ended.
But somehow this isn't reassuring.
Because at some unexpected (or perhaps even more difficult to bear: expected) moment, I will be no longer.
And that freaks me out.
Yesterday, as N/A and I drove to get dinner for my birthday, we listened to a mixed tape he had made me for my birthday. Elton John's "Your Song" came on, and I grinned big, and he sang along, and yet, I just kept thinking of the woman who passed. And then thinking about how I shouldn't be thinking about it, because it was my birthday. Because I was there, enjoying that song, N/A warm beside me, our lungs full of song.
But I just couldn't help it.