An evening of many tears, and much shaking, and this:
Until he died I didn’t realise he was mortal.
I did, of course, know that at some point he would die. I expected – with nine years between us – to be the one left alone. But I associated ‘mortality’ with age and that, in my mind, was so far ahead of us that it had no real weight.
Now it has a weight, a heft, that is dragging me down. I feel it; any sense of lightness has gone. Mortality has become a leaden anchor on my life. (Others have known this before me; I needed to learn it for myself.)
That doesn’t – not for me, not yet – make life more precious. What it makes it is more serious, more important, heavier. I was told early on that the petty would fall away. That’s my growing experience. I’m no Romantic, so I won’t savour thoughts of heavier death to intensify my experience of life, won’t crush its grape against my palate for wine. Nor will I chant, as a medieval Christian, that in the midst of life we are in death. But I can understand why both, weightily, importantly, have been said.
(Pic is Regent’s Park in tonight’s dusk.)