|La Recoleta - Buenos Aires|
Thanks to Darwin we understand that one of the primary roles of any species lies in the continuity of preservation. Epicurus said we fear death but because there is no pain in it, there is no reason to fear it. When my philosophy professor in Mexico City, Ramón Xirau told us that in class it felt logical.
Because of Darwin we know that we reproduce and have offspring so as to preserve our DNA. Suicide goes against the grain of self-preservation so it shocks us when we are exposed to it.
The death of my Rosemary and our mutual belief that we will never meet again and that our 52 years are all we were going to get has me suddenly feeling that much closer to death.
Because of Epicurus, at night, I try to think about not being. I am unable to grasp that concept because it is against my Darwinian principle that I have to live on and will live on. Perhaps there is some hardy human out there who can circumvent that. Perhaps when Rosemary in the middle of the night told me, "I don't want to be here," was almost there. We cannot surmise what it feels like to know you are dying. Perhaps it is such an exceptional occurrence that the dying person has no words to explain it. And we must wait for our own death to find out about that truth that cannot be shared.
As I navigate my grief and the almost-all-the-time awareness of her not being (in that Epicurean sense of the word) I revel that I am ever so lucky to be alive and to have pleasant feelings. There are four reasons.
Rosemary and I decided (did we luck out?) to have two daughters instead of two sons. During this whole ordeal in which sometimes I have been selfishly aware that our two daughters lost their mother and that I am not the only one to grieve, I get support and cheerful help from them. They have been teaching me to sort out the garbage and to pay my bills. They call every day to ask how I am.
The other two reasons are our two brother and sister cats, Niño and Niña. They cling for attention constantly .The idea of showing tenderness towards them is only a small measure of what it was when I did so with Rosemary. But it helps. Today Thursday, January 7, 2021 I took Niño for a walk around the block. This was the first time he walked (he gallivants on his own after breakfast every day) with me. His last walk may have been sometime, mid-November before his mistress was unable to walk.
It felt good. But that presence, not around, makes me think that the best I ever had has been had and the loneliness of my future will only end with Thanatos.
Is there any solace in knowing that it will not be painful?
Who Will Be First? May 18, 2013