we were not close. Not then, not now, not ever. You had a way about you where it never seemed to matter.
I hadn’t seen you in over a year. We only texted a few times. I don’t know if I ever sent you a snapchat. We are 22, our reunion should not have transpired as me standing over you in your casket.
why did I attend your viewing?
I don’t know. Maybe because you texted me in March. Maybe because I am just well-acquainted enough with the girl who found you. Maybe because you simply had, in eight short months, enough of an impact on my life that I thought it best I go. I would regret my absence much longer than regret my attendance.
death is a complex thing because we try to fashion it into something simple when it is anything but. You are born, you live a long life, and then you die. Simple as that. Quick, clean, concise and even a bit curt.
death is never that simple.
dying, as an act, is a task for the subjected individual.
the trouble is, the act of dying manifests in so many ways. Old age, disease, tragedy, natural causes, whatever way you try to spin it, the affliction ends the same way: someone is deceased. Simple enough, but it isn’t. Because the act of dying is directly linked to the event of dying. The social entity of death is powerful. The specific act will impact the social aspect of death the greatest, then will the degree of separation from the deceased. However, the subjectivity of the individual person muddies any grand theories regarding the experience of death definitively.
and so, death is complicated. Death does not follow rules or formulas. Death works as it pleases, taking whomever and whatever and throwing all convention to the wind.
although I believe there is one thing we know about death to be true.
Death takes the lives of the golden far too soon.
when my eye first caught you, from in the other room, my heart skipped a beat. Lifeless you lay, your cheek had postmortem bruising. When I moved closer, I struggle to say you looked at peace. You always smiled, and yet here you are, no smile. Your face looked so unlike you. Your fingers were tinged with the darkness that bit you this previous Friday.
I suppose when you drain the life out of the effervescent, they can no longer look peaceful, for what defined them has been stolen away from them in dying. But Shane, your spirit must have flooded into that funeral home and each and every person, because the laughter that carried through conversations, the way the atmosphere refused to succumb to heaviness, you were there in each of them. So no wonder you looked so tense in that casket. You were hard at work, still trying to lift the spirits of everyone who came to mourn you. How typical.
Rest in peace, now.