Warning: The following discusses death in a way that some people may consider insensitive. It may also offend.
Dead bodies of those that you don’t know are cold, stiff and lifeless. They reek of life that was once present but has now been sucked away. Skin that was once moist or soft or flexible or dangly is now hard and plastic, like thin lasagne sheets that are going cold. Being near a dead body and examining it leaves you feeling that you are examining an object, a part of nature that is far, far disconnected from the being that it once housed. As far as I’m concerned people are as attached to their bodies as hermit crabs are attached to their shells. I feel I cannot judge a person based on their physiology because it is not a part of them. They are something else, something less tangible then the shell that they will soon leave behind.
Dead bodies of acquaintances are cold and peaceful. You sit and hear the eulogy. It is a story about passion and about good times. It is about personality and it’s delivered with sincerity. You feel it is true but you know you cannot connect with all of it. You experience this story passively, like a good book, but you know it isn’t fictional. You see the friends and family. You can see with greater perspective than they can. You know how this ‘washes out’ in the long run. Perhaps it is a little upsetting to see them grieving but there is little that you can do and little that can be said. You know that if you stand by them and give them time they will probably live to see another day.
Dead bodies of those whom you are close to are drenched with emotion. They are soft and cold. They are at peace but even that feels wrong in a strange way. They shouldn’t have left so soon. You cannot think of the future, how can things continue now? They lie there lifeless while you are overwhelmed with pain and grief. Their act of death seems so underwhelming. They are passive. Soon enough they are gone forever and the majority of people seem to forget about them. Their existence is less critical than it appeared while they were here.
These dead bodies go away soon but their memories last for a long time. You wake up in the afternoon and nothing seems to have changed. You see your friends again and they all seem unaffected. Life continues. Every moment you may yearn for the person but this has no effect. After a while you wake up and realise that things are still changing. Normality was lost… but now it is being reinvented. It is not ‘normal’ the way you remember it, or how you want it, but it is a new type of normal.
It is the most difficult ordeal I’ve ever experienced.
My heart goes out to the people of Russia and Iraq and Afghanistan and all the other places where mothers weep and fathers carry their dead children. The result of this hate is all terribly wrong.