I’ve been thinking a lot about my boy lately. It’s likely our troubled times have triggered this at least to some extent. Collective sorrow will do that. Grief is not as specific as we’ve been led to believe. Being given to writing things down as a way to process life, I thought it would be a good time to drop him a line. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind…
It’s been awhile. I don’t know where or how you are. I don’t even really know what you are—in what if any form you may be. No matter. As you know, from time to time I’ll enter the place of the happy dream and entertain the notion that you might still in some way be aware of me. So here I am…entertaining once more.
I hope you are at peace. I know. I always say that, don’t I? I’m getting a bit old and have become prone to repetition, but it’s all I ever wanted for you, even before you left. We have a lot of confusion and controversy here about what happens to those who take their lives. I’ve tried to let go of my own curiosity about this because it doesn’t bring me any satisfaction to pursue something I’ll never know. In the meantime I settle the uncertainty by defaulting to another question that works in many ways: What would Love do (with something like this)?
I know it was about the pain. You told me that once and it really stuck with me. Everything I’ve found since then has proven you were quite correct. You found an answer, found several in fact, tried them all. They worked. The only problem was they were all unsustainable, every one. The answers always led to bigger problems than the pain you were trying to relieve. They took your health, your relationships, your mind. They took your natural inclination to continue life as you knew it. You may now be aware this left behind consequences in the lives of others, but those burdens are our own to bear. You’ve had enough.
The reason I’m writing is to fill you in about this world you left behind. Again, this will prove your theory about the pain was quite correct. We, like you, have lost our way somehow. We didn’t really mean for this to happen, but it all became so…complicated. I’m sure you understand. We seem to keep answering incorrectly with unsustainable solutions.
I’d bet the ranch that since you left, you’ve found out how fearfully you were living while here. Personally, I think you were terrified (not judging, just an observation). I would submit we are as well. And wouldn’t you know it, turns out a microscopic ball of proteins is what it took to reveal this to us. It moved from an animal to a human, and in a few months brought the whole goddamn world to its knees. You would not believe the consequences of this thing. The dots all connected at last and here we all are, faced with a similar circumstance as you did in your bedroom closet nearly ten years ago. Do we continue on as before with the unsustainable, or do we find our way at last and end the insanity (albeit not by self-annihilation)? Talk about existential.
As I’ve mentioned in past letters and unspoken ramblings to you, I’m of the belief that virtually every experience in life on earth distills down to one of only two things. Here I mean experience to include all problems and all solutions. I’ve found looking at life this way has become a matter of habit, which is why I seem so confident in saying the two things are…love or fear. I wonder how you’d weigh in on this given what you may have more recently come to know.
I’m pretty sure it has been our collective fear that brought us to this point in history—this now. The distillate of most if not all of our problems is fear. Solutions however, can go either way. This is the crossroads at which we find ourselves. What shall it be? The first steps of each path are being revealed. We can see the roads before us laid out, but only to the first bend. My own humble past compels me to review. Every time I’ve chosen the way of fear, the only results have been more fear and another dead-end. If love is the answer as I believe it to be, where oh where do we even begin?
I suppose it could only begin here—in here, in our all-too-human hearts. I’ve had some prior experience with being bludgeoned into submission. As you well know, I was once faced with an existential crisis and stood at a crossroads. An answer to life had not only failed me, but had also utterly blinded me to a solution. Just like you, I was left at a place where the problematic answer could neither continue nor end. In the presence of a seeming lack of options, what else could there have been but surrender?
I would submit that it is in this precise place where Grace makes itself known. Like electricity flowing to ground and rivers making their way to the sea, it just naturally follows along to this perfect spot where denial mercifully takes its leave and a new answer is revealed. As impersonal as gravity yet loving as God Itself, the only requirements left are to keep vigilant watch and accept it when it arrives. It may not always be obvious. I think you know this—got past you every time.
Son, it seems our world needs a reset. Grace is seeing to this. Though we have brought this on, the solution is as contagious as a virus beginning in each infected heart and spreading like light. So keep a good thought for us who remain here, would you? Keep a good thought that we can see and act rightly, and as we find the answers, treat each other well. We need all the help we can get.
Love is the answer.
I miss you,