It is a common occurrence nowadays to push Death, in any shape or form, to the fringes of our lives. We hide it, we ignore it. All children stories are stripped of any kind of death. In Little Red Ridding Hood, even the wolf survives and gets a life-lesson. Thus Death has become the new Big Unknown. We don’t let children attend funerals, even of close kin, because that might be too upsetting. We filter movies, books and reject deeply involving art, instead allowing caricatured Death of the action movies.
Under these circumstances, it is not surprising, to me, that teenagers could, for example kill to simply witness death. This was what some 15-year old girls declared at their trial, when standing accused of killing a 9-year old boy. Death is difficult to fathom, its definitive sentence is not a trivial learning which one could put together from bits and pieces. They simply don’t don’t understand it and it is because we don’t allow them to understand it. We don’t want the dear ones to die but when they do, getting in proximity of death is part of the normal process of healing.
You probably read about the lack of closure they relatives of the ones who vanished or whose bodies were never recovered. Yes, the mind understands that the chances of that person being alive are close to none. Your soul though, your emotions, will make you jolt now and then at the sound of the door, a slight noise, a dog barking. You will have the weird feeling that the missing one but never confirmed dead might show up in front of you. Time heals everything and I assume you learn to live with this feeling, you ignore it, you shut it down. Occurrences are less and less frequent and maybe, one day, they stop altogether. But it takes time, an awful long time for this feeling to subsist.
It is the feeling of HOPE, and it’s difficult to eradicate such a feeling. One will cling to it, no matter how faint, how illogical it might be. Sometimes it is all we have to live for.
The same goes when LOVE dies. Its death, complete, irreversible, needs confirmation. Without the confirmation, without the funeral, one could believe that this love is still alive and would keep hoping against all odds. I went through some instances (my divorce being one) where, despite witnessing the signs that the love was gone, I was never given confirmation. On the contrary – love declarations keep flowing.
I understand why. It’s extremely difficult to say « I don’t love you anymore ». It makes us feel evil. In life I have been at both ends of the stick and I know the unpleasant feeling. The one who stopped loving, hangs on warm memories, on pity, on nostalgia and keeps on saying « No, you’re wrong, I still love you very much BUT, if you want to leave, I will not stop you, because… well, because I am a wonderful person and I want you to be happy ». They hope, yes, it’s still called hope, that you will give them an easy way out. And if you do, they send you a «farewell, my great love! »… well, because it’s so damn romantic and it sounds so good. Better an impossible love (even without any argument that it could be impossible) than admitting you don’t love the other, feeling like a heartless monster.
I have been through this recently. I know that, like in the other 2-3 instances I’ve been in this life, I need « I DON’T LOVE YOU » to heal more quickly. In the case of my divorce, it took me almost 18 months to heal because I would cling to any sign of pity or gentleness discovering in these normal behavior remorse, or even love. When I was finally told how things are, I healed in a single moment. When you maimed somebody, the ONLY merciful thing you can do is to put them out of their misery. But, hey, I know I can’t have everything I wanted and I have been known to want too many things. So, instead, I would limp through life, knowing that I could never have the relief I am seeking, accepting what I cannot change.

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