It doesn’t seem real. But it is.
When you are young death doesn’t seem tofaze you. When you’re young they just tell you that your hamster, Fred, got outand ran away. They don’t tell you that Fred died because he was old or yourgoldfish died because you forgot to feed him. They just don’t tell you stufflike that. But then it happens to a person close toyou it could be a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or so on. They can’t tellyou that Grandma got out and ran away.
No, you are suddenly slapped intosomething far worse than dealing with the monsters under your bed. You areforced to face life. Suddenly you feel as if you could be in a one-on-onecombat with the boogeyman. But death…death is just too unreal…and real all atthe same time. Death is unexpected. One day you’relaughing and cutting up with the person you love and then BAM! Death takes themaway, without any warning. You grieve for a length of time, but then you go onuntil that one moment when something happens in your life, you pick up thephone to call them, but realize…they’re gone. There’s always that empty placeat the Thanksgiving table, that birthday you can’t seem to forget.
It’s funny how you can’t forget the littlethings, like their birthday or even their phone number, but you tend to forgetimportant things– the way they look, their voice, their smell. You rememberGrandma always smelling of mothballs and peppermints and every time you catch awhiff of either of those things, tears fill your eyes as you search forGrandma. But she’s not there. You can’t see her, can’t hold her, can’t be withher, cradled in her lap as she sings you the same lullaby from when you werelittle. You were so safe then.
But now, without Grandma’s lap or the peppermintsmell, you are all alone. You’re wearing a target sign, yelling for danger; youhave no safe place to go. I know that in a world without death itwould be overpopulated, no room to breathe. But you wouldn’t be sad. You’d feelsafe. No reason to cry.
But that’s as unreal as death. Just make believe andwishes. Death isn’t make-believe or wishes…so does that make it real?