Welcome, one and all, to the incongruent ravings of an inferior mind!
Here I sit, on the eve of the funeral of a good man I barely knew.
Death does a strange thing to a person, regardless if you are the person who happens to be doing the dying. Even the death of a person I barely knew, a man I've met maybe all of three times in my life, but who's existence had become something of a tangible aspect of my reality, has affected me in a way I would not have previously thought possible.
Everyone has encounters with death. Death in the family, death of a friend, or a death in the family of a close friend. Everyone knows, to a certain degree, what it is like to be touched in a personal way with that one universal and irrevocable loss; even if it is only by the absence of that loss that one comes to fear it so.
The death of a family acquaintance, or a teacher, or a man to whom you used to deliver newspapers, this is a manner of death that is quite unique in it's effect on the living. No, you do not neccessarily mourn them in the deep, heart-wrenching way you would say: your father. But you are nevertheless touched by it, someone who once was there is now not. Someone who once laughed, once cried, was once hungry and certainly at some point once was full, is now simply no longer there. They do not exist in our plane, that connection has been severed, in that one and only universal and irrevocable way that it can be. The person you knew, respected, understood, liked, perhaps loved, is gone. No more will you see them in this life, though you may laugh for eternity with them in the next.
Though your soul may not cry out with loss, and though you may not experience that hard physical ache that accompanies the more tangible death of a close loved one, a part of your mind will always stand back and wonder; wonder, of the infinite things that have been torn down along with the life of the person you were never close enough to to mourn effectively. I wonder, how many memories did this man take to his grave? I wonder, was the life of this man bright, did this man know his soul? Was he afraid when the time came, or was his faith as such that he could look into eternity with a smile on his face? Again, I wonder, if this man's story died with him, if his words will never again be heard, if we all shall never know the truths and beauties he has seen, the glories he has experienced, then is that not truly enough to mourn him as he deserves? Should we all not feel his departure as if something was taken out of our own souls to help cushion him in his eternal resting place?
Death, it would appear, is the one and only true constant in this world. You can say other things are constant, but that does not definitively make it so. Are we sure we are held here by gravity, or is it that some living will emanates from our every molecule and crushes it against this rock? No, the only true constant in this world is death. Oh, I suppose it has different forms in different context, but even the tallest and mightiest mountain, over time, will succumb to the laws of this world and slowly crumble, until there is nothing of is but it's basest molecules, floating in empty space. Do you feel it? That all-encompassing knowledge that you are, slowly but surely, winding down? That, in fact, this whole world, in one way or another, is winding down. Sayeth the Dead God, "In the end, entropy wins all."
I certainly feel that way this evening. Goodnight, friends.