This article was written in response to the sudden and tragic death of someone too young in years and someone enduringly precious to a family so close to my heart (http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2015/03/16/new-paltz-high-school-student-dies/24856873/). It has no bearing on my thru-hike other than the fact that my misfortune proved to be yet another almost auspicious occurrence and reason for me to be grateful to be home with family and friends.
What is life but one big story, an allegory written through the experiences that humans endure.
Things happen that are beyond our comprehension, some so terrible that they are a surreal cloud of happenstance. Unimaginable. Unfathomable. Some things happen and you think, there must be some reason…everything happens for a reason. Then there are those abominable things that there can absolutely be no reason to happen except for the purpose of driving us to utter despair and force us to continue on in laborious wretchedness.
Just when you think life has thrown you a curve ball, it hurls a singular blow straight to someone else’s sense of being that makes for a sharp reminder of how irrational life can be. We all try to make sense of the senseless, to reconcile the events of our life, to make them bearable…survivable. Sometimes though, a part of us is lost that is irretrievable, cast into the dark chasm of despondency in which there is no consolation.
When we are beyond hope, when what’s done cannot be undone, what is there that is left? When life turns into a nightmare from which you cannot awake and what has been repeats in your head like a terrible echo that cannot be silenced, what do we do? There isn’t much to be done, except to plod on in longing that tomorrow will bring some glimmer of sunlight into the vast darkness we call grief. We tell our stories like a broken record in hopes that the outcome may somehow become different by repeating it over and over again.
We ask ourselves…why? What could we have done differently? What if? How come? We tell ourselves that it doesn’t make sense. There HAS to be a reason. We deliberate to try to come to some understanding that will help us have clarity. We postulate to uncover some truth that will allows us to have closure. We philosophize to make our existence have purpose. This is what sets us apart from any other life forms in observed actuality. This is our blessing and our curse.
The verity of it all is that we will never have the answers. We will never know the reasons why and can only come to some resemblance of satisfaction that will silence the repeating interrogation that torments our minds. We finally just have to succumb to the fact that we must accept what was, what is, and what will be. We must bear testimony to what has been endured in order to try to dilute the pain suffered. We share our stories, our lives, with the only beings who can commiserate…each other, and offer the only comfort that can be given…compassion.