"Where do we go when we die?" he said.
"I don’t know," the man said. "Where are we now?"
-Cormac McCarthy Cities of the Plain
I feel particularly at peace with existing. I feel like I know what I was meant to do and I'm not afraid to die.
I went through a weird thing when I first became a mom. I had been a suicidal junkie, but then suddenly, I was terrified of own mortality. I obsessed about disease and danger. I would think about the fact that I was going to die someday, that it was certain, and everything else would drop away from me. All I felt and knew was that I was going to die and I would feel sure in those moments that I would never ever be able to stop worrying about it.
And then I didn't die, right then, and life was beautiful and I worked hard and earned the right to believe that I was worthy of marveling in being alive.
I feel as though I have honestly earned my place as a person who is aware of death and the slipping nature of life, but who believes whole heartedly that being alive is worthwhile and that what happens when we die isn't any more or less menacing than what is happening to us, now.
My grandma died a few weeks ago and the funeral was on Christmas Eve. It was a weird thing, to wake up early and drive to Indiana to see her stiff and yellow and feel her curling hand. To say goodbye and feel sorry that her life had been a hard thing mostly, but happy to know that she didn't view it that way. And then, I met Kurt and the girls at the conservatory for the christmas light display. We had fancy petit fours at the cafe and Scout and Louise were so beautiful and pink and it was going to be christmas in the morning.
This christmas was so satisfying, in experience and in presents, that I didn't feel sad, for the first time in my life, to see it go. I felt happy and full and like everything had gone exactly as it should have, which might have been weird since so much of it dealt with a death. But, it was a long coming death, and felt timely and peaceful. Christmas meant something more, because my grandma was a secret in my heart. Scouty told me that she wanted to visit her and give back a necklace GG had lent her. I told Scouty that GG had gotten very old and her body was worn out and that she had died, and Scouty said, "Okay, well, I have her necklace for her when she's not died anymore."