Every one dies. So far so common place. However, it’s getting worse.
Renee who I am very fond of buried her mother recently. There is no comfort to the fact that her mother lived to, how does the phrase go, “a ripe old age”. God damn it. I still have both my parents. They too are getting riper and I dread the day. I dread the day I won’t hear their voices (our communication being mainly over the phone). The day that phone won’t ring. The day when I, absentmindedly, dial their numbers (they do have two separate ones) and no one will answer. I basically dread old age.
OLD Age? Don’t make me laugh. Forgetting the likes of James Dean and Marilyn Monroe, Philip Seymour Hoffman and many others leaving the playing field prematurely, the brother of LSF (longest standing friend) died at 51. Last summer. A golden boy. Just like that. No warning. No foreboding. Nothing.
Death has always been my friend, close to me, never far from my mind. But he (has death a gender? In German he does) is beginning to get on my nerves. I am not religious though did get married in church and my son was christened in the very same. But there are phrases in sermons at the grave side, taken from the Bible, I love. “Man born to woman”, “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust”. Comforting. Grand words. Grand gestures. Expansive. Evocative. You almost don’t mind being dead – and the only who can’t hear the words.
I would love, and please don’t think me morbid – I am not, to hold a memorial service for both my parents (though separately as to give them their own spaces) whilst they are still ALIVE. So they can actually know how much I appreciate them, appreciated them even when Sunday afternoons were blue torture because my father made me sit down and listen to classical music and “guess” the bloody composer. How I miss it. Now I know my Mozart from my Beethoven. Even though they do overlap in temperament in certain pieces.
What brought this on? Apart from Renee, – and I could write a whole essay on the above, except I do not lack self discipline: Shirley Temple has died. How dare a child die? At age 85.