‘All of a sudden it began to happen without the admonition I needed to breathe, I found myself inexhaustibly crying in front of colleagues old and new with the burning knowledge that my father was actually dead’.
Last nights events in the REM sleep brought what felt like a real time motion of grief and panic when I was pertly confronted with the knowledge that my father is no longer with me and coming to terms with this scale of the dilemma. It physically terrified me for a moment or seven when I slowly came back into consciousness and as I came coherent again I recalled the cerebral sensation that has been slowly creeping up on me since my late teens as dry rot would on a dream home. This is what Simone De Beauvoir called ‘the scandal of finiteness’, an undeviating addressment to the inescapable mortality of man, the death of us, our loved ones, and the beast that lives as one of the most universal of horrors in a society of any geographical description. Paraphrasing Robert Jordan, ‘Death comes to us all, we can only choose how to face away when it comes’.
Throughout the years we hear different lessons of ethos that are designed to make us believe we are destined to be more categorical creatures of thought, whether they pay off though is down to the acuity of others. But one such lesson I’ve heard rear it’s head through the plain of though throughout the years is the effulgence of warmth or the darkness of defeat created by a birth or a death. Two events that have capacity to truly maketh the man.
One thing that must be coupled with this attitude of a death knell on a personal level is my surprising, (to some) lack of experience with the passing of someone close. For I come from a materially small family from the South of the United Kingdom as do both of my parents. Also I am an only child, so are both my parents. This is a scene that comes across rather queer to most of my peers as I hold little in relation to what I deem and they hold dear, the traditional nuclear family. But does the need for us to have relations with the ones we respect actually matter when it comes to the one experience we all have in common but won’t be able to change, when, in Rush Limbaugh’s words, ‘we assume room temperature’. As though we’d be able to assume anything beyond this eventually daunting event when it comes, one which our fathers will already have embarked upon many milestones ago.