So I’m listening to this book on CD in my car and i’ve had a couple thoughts.
1. She writes, “A bird never doubts his place at the center of the universe” – isn’t that just the perfect description? Maybe that’s what I’ve always loved about them, their complete lack of self-consciousness. Birds do exactly what they want to do all the time… except the little scientist voice in my head that sounds exactly like prof jim mountjoy says that birds don’t do whatever they “want” because they are controlled by instinct, so they are doing what they have to do, there is no real choice involved.
2. (possible spoiler?) Near the beginning of the book, a young man dies and she describes the way people had to wait in line for over an hour at the wake. It reminded me of Matt’s funeral which also involved waiting in a very long line, some for over an hour. And for the first time, I considered what that really meant – how many people must have attended to make a line that long. And then I thought about how people say things about wishing they could attend there own funeral, and the anxiety people express over how many people would care if they died… And I thought that Matt would have been satisfied with our final farewell to him.
I’m still processing Matt’s death and absence, but lately I’ve been able to think about it with more peace and acceptance – (translation: i don’t cry every single time i think of him).
I guess I have found some comfort in focusing on how awesome he was and how many people were lucky enough to know him … and how he will always be young in our memories. Matt is free from the pains of life, the pains of aging, the possibilities of disappointing himself and others. He can’t hurt anyone and no one can hurt him. I recognize that you can read that from two different perspectives – he is gone forever and that sucks OR his story is complete and he is free from fear, anxiety and pain. But really it’s both, all the time.
I have come to accept that Matt had an awesome life with a great family, friends and lots of crazy experiences and now it’s over – like every great book has to come to an end, even if it’s much shorter than you’d wish, and no matter how much more you want to hear about your favorite characters. The story is done and the author has died.
But of course, people are different than books – for one thing, you can’t reread people. I can’t go back in time to re-experience my time with Matt. And I could never love a book as much as I loved Matt. I would give anything to be able to talk to him again.
3. So maybe these two thoughts don’t seem to go together, I can see that.
Except that, like the birds, Matt never doubted that he was the center of the universe 🙂