Involuntarily I asked myself whether you were in pain, whether dying hurts, or whether it is simply as if life were pouring out, very gently, so that you became tired, closed your eyelids, and at some point, they no longer closed open. But it seemed like you weren’t in pain because you lay with your head in my lap, peaceful and calm. A few more times you lifted your heavy eyelids and looked at me as if you wanted to make sure that I was still there, there with you, not just physically present, because you felt that, but actually present and with you. And me was there. Just like I promised you the day you came to us, that I would never leave you alone, no matter what happened, until the last moment. I automatically thought of what it would be like to die myself. If you just fall asleep and don’t wake up, what should it affect me. Probably not me, but the people who care about me. For them it is also important to accept life, not only, but also. My own death probably affects me less, yours much more. I can’t console myself that there’s life after death or a resurrection or anything because I don’t believe in it. After all, aren’t all these notions too tempting to distract us from what we’re supposed to be doing, which is to live.
Life only has meaning when it stands on its own. We have no more excuses. We can no longer make excuses and postpone anything. There has to be life after death, otherwise it would all be over. Wouldn’t it be bad if everything was over? But there must be something that remains. We remain in our children. abuse the children for us. They have their own lives and offenses. We stay in what we have created. Everything that has been created perishes. Even Van Gogh’s sunflowers. And Goethe’s Faust. It’s not important. But then there is no answer to the why. We don’t need an answer to the why if we live now. Life after death is a mere reassurance of not having done anything today. Missing chances and opportunities. lapse. Then everything will be better and forever. And if nothing is better and nothing is forever? No matter how you imagine it, what could be better about living forever. In whatever form, it remains a prison. life ends And that’s good. We should get back into it. We should believe in death again. When we believe in death again, we believe in life again. Not of any life in a dubious sometime. Nothing stays. Not the work of our hands. Not the work of our loins. But what if nothing lasts? Good if nothing lasts. So the call to live life itself remains. Short span between birth and death. That’s all. What we set in motion through action is permanent. Action demands action. One action follows the next. It is our actions that carry us forward. Maybe not by name. But in its effects. Be mindful in what you do. Pay attention to the moment, to the now. Then you don’t need any more excuses.
No excuses, neither in action nor in pause, in which I am with you, in the moment that your head rested in my lap. You hadn’t opened your eyes for a long time and I felt it actually getting serious, that life was saying goodbye. The last look you gave me was your farewell. It was as if you were able to close your eyes afterwards, never to open them again. Eventually, the heaving of the chest stopped, and the warmth of life left your body. I stayed until, with the best will in the world, I could no longer deny that you had died. Not gone, because your physical shell was still there. Externally there was no change. I had been very afraid of it, but in the end a great calm had taken its place. It was good the way it was. The pain ate at me because that’s how it is when someone leaves us who had become familiar, who shared so much life with me. It would stay, this pain, but there was more. There was also a deep gratitude for all the time that we were allowed to live together and in which you repeatedly asked me to do the same, to live. Grateful even for this pain, because if it weren’t for it, then I wouldn’t have loved you – and you were a part of my life and will remain so, albeit in a different way. A smile stole onto my face alongside the tears. I don’t want to miss any of it. It belongs together, beginning and end, birth and death, pain and joy. The pictures remain and the memories and this wonderful feeling when you are there. I will never forget how you would jump around me for joy or just lay down next to me, curl up and just be there, until the last moment, with your head in my lap.
We don’t need to be afraid of death because it comes with all inevitability, to each of us, and especially when we have not failed to live, moments that have been filled with aliveness, with joy and laughter, with Love and togetherness, moments when we were present in togetherness so that it stays. The pain is in the foreground at first, but it subsides, even if it never goes away completely, but at some point the joy outweighs the joy that you were and are part of my life, just a little differently.