The first death that actually effected me was my friend Larry when I worked at Zellers. I noticed then how I’d never called him a friend before he died but I felt certain and confident saying it afterwards. All the mixed feelings I had about him evaporated and all I felt was that I missed him and had always liked him. Which is significant because I know I didn’t always like him, I know for a fact I once called him a racist dinosaur and thought he should hurry up and die.
That’s when I saw the forgiveness of death for the first time, how you become flawless and loved as soon as you’re not around to be a whole, imperfect person anymore. Die, and your imperfections become your perfections, everyone loves you not in spite of your flaws but because of them. You become one, singular personality trait forever.
Which seems like a great relief to those of us who see themselves having a lot of good qualities but deeply flawed and beyond repair.
I’m pretty audacious at times and I don’t worry because I know when I die people will think it’s a charming story or at worst a telling sign of coming tragedy. I’ve always felt that a lot of my character will only make sense to others when I’ve died.
And maybe that’s a cop out for the fact that it doesn’t make sense now. I don’t want to be flawed, I can’t accept it, I want to be purely pragmatic and be warm and welcoming to all but that’s impossible, we’re humans we can only choose paths and every path we choose closes off others. Death is a short cut to seeming perfect. Who wouldn’t want that?