December 27, 2011

Anybody Listening?

Death is a funny thing. At first you seem scared of it. And as life goes on, you seem to grow tired of it. Are you afraid? I remember the first big death that hit me. The one I remember the most. My grandmother. I took it hard. I think the hardest of anyone in the family. It was an open casket and it took my mom and my aunts about 30 minutes to get me to go up to see her. I kept refusing. Death was not to be seen but to be remembered. Finally I got up there. I about passed out. Not from sorrow, but I was scared. I was horrified. Then slowly, I laid my hand upon her's. It was cold. Death's cold. 

But I couldn't let go. I don't know if i was in shock. Or if it was the fact that this was going to be the last time I would ever see her again. Either way, I started to cry.  As I went to step away, I stopped and rested my hand on her forehead and said a little prayer. Probably my last prayer ever. That was back in 2001. 

Now, over the last 10 years, I've lost more friends and family, 12 in all so far,  then I have in the 38 years on this rock we call home. Some of them hit me hard, while others I just take a few moments to remember and go about my day. Cold? Callous? Maybe. But to each his own and we remember people the way we do for reasons. 
Not long ago, I lost 2 good friends that I had known since about 1999. Of those two passing's, one hit me the hardest. I think it's because we knew each other pretty well. And we shared a lot. So when his wife called me at work and told me his brain cancer got the better of him, I lost it. Right in front of every one. This was a few years ago.  I've lost both my grandmothers, with the last one just the week of my birthday last month. Lost one grandfather, only one of those left.

Now to part of the point for this story. Five years ago this coming February, I started my job at my current company. There were 40+ people broken into 2 training classes (only 5 of us left now). It was at this time I met Mike. Weird guy at first, until you got to know him. Kids, family man. Had a rough time a few years earlier. Bad accident. More stuff I never pressed on. Shortly into a illustrious career as  public punching bags, Mike and I went out ways with in the company. Soon after, he followed me into the department I help start. Shortly after that, he had the chance to go home and work from there. During this time, we talked, shared laughter, pain. Was there for him to talk about the girl he was with. Their problems. The pain he was in with his back and legs, etc. Normally what a friend does. 

After awhile, we lost contact. He would hit me up from time to time at work with questions on certain things or outside of work if he had a hit an a design job for me. Then, nothing. This was about 6 months ago.

I found out tonight that he passed the other day. According to what i was able to read, it was either Saturday or yesterday. I'm not sure of how. But I do know he was on a lot of pain pills last time I saw him. I also found out, he was arrested back in October for  possession of methamphetamine. Most likely, Oxy or a family member.

I will miss Mike. I feel sad for his kids and his family. But I'm not sad for him. I haven't cried for him. I don't know his whole story. But I know he needed help. I offered awhile ago. Never took me up on it. So now he lays to rest. In peace I hope.

Another point of this story.  Last year I lost my niece to an overdose. She was at one of those famous pain clinics here in FL that have been getting busted for giving out shit. Kinda of where the story for Mike points to. She knew she needed help. We all did. We told her. Then one day, she never woke up. Like Mike, I never cried once. Never felt sorrow for her.  Felt bad for her kids. Well a few of them, because the others seem to live for this shit and promote the fact their heroin addicts. 

One more point. When my grandmother just passed. I was sad. I felt bad for my father, as both his parents are dead now.  I did cry for all but a minute or two. I was more upset then anything. Mainly for the fact, that I hadn't been able to see her for quite awhile. Since I moved out of NY. Nine years in all. 

But through out that day after I got off the phone with my dad, I was angry. I was numb. I was wondering why. I didn't feel the sorrow for the last 3 or 4 deaths that I felt with the first few. As with no feelings for Mike. And some of these people meant more to me then others. Family usually is closer then friends. 

So, the fact I am not feeling sad, the fact that I don't care, does that mean I'm finally numb to the whole death thing? Does it mean I'm in-tune with it? Or does it mean I just don't care anymore. That death is part of life and no matter how I feel, or what I say,  it just won't make a fucking difference?

Can someone answer that?

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