Death is beautiful while birthdays are weird. Usually when it is someone’s birthday we celebrate. But what do we do when that person dies? When a person dies, that person’s birthday becomes something else. Or at the least, we experience it differently. Post-death birthdays remind us that life for us is now different now that he is dead. Life is not as it was, and maybe it never was as we thought. Life for us will never be the same. So every year on the day of his birth I now remember death. Of course death is not the only thing I remember, but it a significant aspect of the last part of the memories, chronologically speaking. I never thought I’d have to stare death in the eyes and watch it bulge and close his. That experience left me utterly speechless and full of words all at the same time. I’m still learning how to think about it.
I’ve found death to be a pretty easy topic to talk about with those who have seen it… for those who haven’t… I’m learning not even to try. Death is actually a lot of things – it’s not all horrible and it’s not all great. It’s a mix. Just like life, I suppose. There is one thing death isn’t. Abstract. I don’t know what to say to people who think that it is. I know when I’m talking to someone who sees death abstractly. I can’t put my finger on it, but they wear it all over… Death isn’t an argument, it isn’t an evil, it isn’t any one thing. Death can’t really be described either. If I had to summarize it in a word, I’d say it’s “divine,” but that word doesn’t do it nearly enough justice. But for death it’s the best descriptor I know. I don’t mean death is pretty, or happy. I mean it is divine. Kind of like birth. Thankfully people know what to do with birthdays, and births, since everyone knows someone who has had one. Every living person has birthdays. If they didn’t, then they would be dead. And we don’t talk to dead people. So it turns out death is very different than birth since very few people know how to think about it, or talk about it. And none of us has experienced it first-hand. Dead people know how to talk about death, but we don’t get to talk to them about it so we remain on the outside, peering in. From darkness to darkness. Most everyone knows what death is, but few are capable of knowing how to face it. Let alone talk about it with someone who has seen it kill someone they love. Yes, that is what death does, it kills. So how do you deal with a killer? How do you talk to someone who has seen Him face to face? How do you deal with someone who has seen a life end? How do you deal with it when you are that person?
Oddly enough, death is a part of every birthday since every birth will end in death… This doesn’t stop us from celebrating, nor should it. Birthday’s are awesome! But it seems weird to celebrate the birth of someone after that birth has now ceased. Yet I do. I do for a lot of reasons – probably the biggest reason is that I know death is more than death… and so I can celebrate the life that I see in death. Actually, I’ve never seen such a life that ended in such a death… I never will again. That’s where some of the beauty is. I know no one understands besides One. I still find it funny that in the moment I heard the continuous beep… beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep… In that very moment I knew more than any other time in my life that God is real, and God is good. I am still breathing sighs of relief. And I still cry. For none of the reasons people would think. I’m not depressed about it, it’s actually a pretty cool thing – besides the fact that it sucks.
Birthdays are weird, and deaths are beautiful. Especially his. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen – and it will forever scar me. So on this day of birth I smile, because that isn’t what it is anymore. It’s a day of death. But it’s a day that I remember what was and look forward to seeing that body with life in it once again. I want to see him run. That will be a beautiful thing, just like him. So for now I’ll wait. No cakes today, that would be too weird for me. Just memories and anticipations. March 4th is always a different sort of day for me. On March 4th, death is beautiful (divine), and the birthday is weird. Funny how differently you see things once things are so different.