All good things must come to an end.
Someone said that–I don’t know who. I know I could Google it and figure it out but to be honest I don’t want to, and sometimes I get a bit irritated about how accessible information like that is. I don’t even have to go to a library to research things anymore. All that matters at the moment is that someone said it, someone else liked it, and it got repeated in that fashion over an over until it got here.
It’s true. As humans, we are transient creatures, and so everything must end–the good, the bad, the mediocre, that which doesn’t even register on any scale of quality. Even if you were blissfully happy for the rest of your life, that happiness would eventually end, because your life would. Unless you have access to the fountain of youth, or the philosopher’s stone. If you have something like that, let me know. I don’t think I would want it, but, like the largest ball of twine, it would be neat to say I had been there and seen it. Also, I think it’s important to note here for anyone who was put off by my saying happiness ends with the end of your life, that I’m taking into account anything earthly, because ultimately no one knows for sure what happens, if anything, after we die. I’m not going to specify my own thoughts on this subject, as they are personal, and I don’t feel like arguing with people about something that no one involved in the conversation would be willing to bend on, regardless of their point of view. Plus, I enjoy playing devil’s advocate and would probably argue in favor against what I believe if someone approached me in a hostile manner with the same argument. I just don’t like assholes, and sometimes get a kick out of getting them unnecessarily worked up.
The last few months have brought a lot of changes. Mostly not good.
In January, we lost a friend from college very suddenly. No one saw it coming. This guy was talented, and smart, and had a fantastic work ethic, and didn’t seem to have a problem ever taking on a new challenge, no matter how random it seemed. He was funny, and friendly. He had just finished up grad school, and was touring with a band, and making art.
I was out with friends, when I started getting frantic texts and calls from friends back home, and finally I got the terrible news. I picked up the phone and thought “What’s wrong? What’s happened?” but said “Hey, how are you? What’s up?” in as pleasant a voice as I could have. It felt like a block of concrete was dropped into my core. Then, when I was told he was dead, it was like a hand had gripped the concrete tight and crushed it, sending chunks of horror everywhere. I cried, and made phone calls, and that weekend many of us who had known him gathered at the bar in the town where we went to University and, with at least three tables pulled together, basically took it over as our own. Many of us hadn’t seen each other in more than a year, and though the reason for our congregation was not what we would have preferred, it was therapeutic for us all to see each other and know that everyone was alive and well. It was strange though, because I kept thinking any moment, he would walk through the door and join us. He was supposed to be with us.
Over the days that followed his death, I grew angry and bitter. I was not angry with him for dying, not angry with death itself, nor at God for taking him, which is Who I expected to be upset with. No, I was angry at the injustice of it, the unfairness of it all. We should have been gathering for a wedding shower, or a wedding, or a baby shower, or baptism, or birthday, or engagement party, or recital, or graduation, but never a funeral. I was angry because we aren’t supposed to be dying yet. He was only a year older than me, and he was supposed to be able to do so much more, and it’s like he left the table after eating a dinner roll, and then got called away before the main course even got to the table, and we all are just sitting here eating our own meals, while his is sitting there uneaten, and it seems like we should take home the leftovers and do something with them, because he never had that chance, and we would hate to waste something with such potential to be so wonderful…but the restaurant doesn’t allow sharing, so we all are just going to eat our own meals, and some of us will leave them half eaten, and others will clean the plate, but regardless of what we do, the meal will end eventually, and the restaurant will close, and we will have to go, too. And maybe, we will encounter him there on the street after we finish our own suppers, and maybe we will all sit down for another meal, and maybe we will go on to do better things.
Sometimes I still find myself feeling angry about it, but it won’t change anything. I don’t think he wasted what he had, and I refuse to waste what I have. So, I’m going to say yes to new experiences and new adventures. I’m going to do things that I’ve been putting off because life kept getting in the way. I’m going to keep in better touch with those I love, and I refuse to compromise myself for the comfort of others anymore.
I’m really awful at goodbyes. I’m not particularly good at hellos either, but I’m really never sure how to end things. So here’s what I’ve got:
“All good things must come to an end” was apparently taken from the poem Troilus and Criseyde by Geoffrey Chaucer. You may know him as the guy who wrote the Canterbury Tales, which is where A Knight’s Tale (yeah, that Heath Ledger movie) came from…in fact, the naked writer in the movie was supposed to be Chaucer.