Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Falling in Love while sitting with Death

On a long enough trajectory, everyone is dead.

All things that are things come to an end. Relationships end. Friendships fall by the wayside or crumple under the weight of irreconcillable differences. Eventually the people you depend on now will no longer be there for one reason or another.

And that sucks.

Eventually, you too will be gone -- may it be a very long time from now. I continue to remain skeptical about the different theories regarding an afterlife (or lackthereof), but I admit that I spend a lot of time contemplating Death. I have seen Death out of the corner of my eye on many occasions, and while we are not yet personally acquainted, I feel as tho we've interacted frequently enough that I would accept a friend request from Death on Facebook.

I am not eager to die, nor have I ever been. And while a number of people would consider me morbid, my fascination with Death is entirely practical. I am fully aware and cognisant of the finiteness of life, so in order to be able to let go when it's my turn, I contemplate Death. Sometimes, even thinking about what might happen if I died - I don't like those thoughts but I've learned that just because I don't like something doesn't mean I get to avoid it. Unless we're talking about canned vegetables.

Similarly, I suppose I have a morbid view of Love. For me the first step in loving anyone is coming to terms with the absolute fact that our relationship will end. It will end because we break up, and if it doesn't end that way it will end when one of us dies. When I think about giving myself to someone in the love-way, I first have to acknowledge that the relationship, like life and everything else in it, is impermanent. If I can manifest love for a person while holding this idea in my heart and mind simultaneously, then I have fallen in love completely and properly. If I can't hold that idea, my fear will be more powerful than my love, and neither of us will benefit from me being in fear with someone.

Recently, Ten and I have signed a number of documents together that reflect this preoccupation with Death. Wills, Powers of Attorney, that sort of thing, and it was uncomfortable but we did it as a commitment to each other. We still know that our relationship will end, but we've decided that that ending will come over one of our dead bodies. That's what we decided, and so we signed some papers, bought some jewelry, and are planning a party.

I would love to have this kind of commitment with all of my partners, but it's taken 7 years to get to that point with Ten, so I am content in holding those loves with an open hand and enjoying every second of them while they last. I hope to never again experience the heart-rending breakups I had before I came to the realization that letting go is part of loving, but I admit that my heart doesn't always do what I ask. And of course, more relationships means more breakups, so when the next one happens*, I'm sure I will experience the proper amount of grief.

So, as relationships flourish with the coming Spring, I have the need to appreciate them even more knowing that one day, hopefully a long time from now, they will each end in their turn. I don't like it, but I'm not afraid of it either.

*My partners should be assured that this post is not foreshadowing and I do not currently have plans to dump anybody. You're too wonderful.