When I saw Wylie carrying the dead rooster’s body out of the bushes, I felt immediately sad but then it quickly passed as I realized it was part of the life on a hobby farm like ours.
We’ve lost three chickens since that initial rooster, the last one at the paws of our own simple and susceptible, Klondike, who finished off a bird that was initially injured by another visiting dog. (I said No Dogs!) We’ll get more chickens and life will go on.
It made me think about how much of our sadness is actually a reaction and not necessarily a reflection of the life we want for ourselves or the people around us. Normal and natural, but not rational.
When we put our dog, Avalanche down, it was incredibly sad, but mostly because of the meaning I added to it. He was old, had a good long life and was now suffering. (I mean, the dog wouldn’t eat cheese.) It was time for him to go. I was sad for our loss, not his suffering. It’s a bit selfish.
I’ve watched people around me continue to mourn and remember Wylie’s late wife. The pain of missing her causes hurtful reactions and resistance to change, but change is all there is. There is a changing of the guard occurring at the Dome, it’s a natural and normal occurrence. Life is for the living.
No one advocates for the choices of Great Expectations’ Miss Havisham, still in the wedding dress she was wearing years later when she got the news of her run-away groom. She wallowed in her grief till it turned her. I can’t imagine she was any fun to be around.
Just like what they say about death and taxes, change is the only constant. (See what I did there?)
The World Trade Center is another good example. There were two camps in the time following the September 11 attacks. The first was for turning the whole site into a memorial and the second was for building a new tower. The attack was significant for so many people, and many wanted to memorialize the event but this was NYC, capital of the world, and really friggin’ expensive real estate. The result is a victory of remembrance and progress.
And maybe it’s because I’m a NYer and I was there on September 11th, but I feel that building a new tower was the best course of action. After all, a life well lived is the best reward.