It snowed for just a moment yesterday.
As I sat at my desk in our little second floor flat, snow drifted softly past the windows to fall on the roof next door. But today it's back to being fall, the leaves a bright auburn color, a chill in the air warning of the cold night ahead.
I've been thinking about death this morning. And how my thoughts on it have evolved in the last year. I read a story in a magazine at the gym yesterday about a girl who became bulimic after her mother died, so ruptured was her world with this loss. And I thought about myself at age 20 in New York City, my world collapsing around me as I tried to make sense of my mother's absence. It never ceases to amaze me how huge these losses can be.
But today I've been thinking of my father and of the nights when he sat on the edge of my bed, rubbing my back as I wept. I think about the things he told me about life, about how swiftly moving and vast it can be, about how wonderful it is to be alive, about how life will present nothing but constant change. The world is what you want it to be, kiddo, he'd say. Life is always worth living.
And I've been thinking this morning about how many times he told me those things. But how it wasn't until I truly learned them myself that they made sense.
I don't feel sad at all anymore that my parents are gone. I miss them sometimes and I'm often so grateful for them that tears well up in my eyes. Sometimes I wish more than anything that I could talk to them, that they were still here to be my parents. But I'm not sad that they're gone. I'm not sad that this is my life, that I am who I am, that my life will continue to unspool as it does.
Death, it finally seems to me, is no different than life. They are each other. And perhaps that's the one thing that will never change.