Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The ghost of Christmas yet to come

Every once in awhile, you have those moments when you take a deep breath because you know you're about to go through an experience that will stop the world from spinning - if only for that singular moment - and then you exhale.

Sometimes those moments pass and, in retrospect, aren't as life-changing as you think they're going to be. Sometimes they leave you feeling quite differently than you had anticipated. Sometimes they're strange but you're not quite sure what to make of them and so you squirrel them away for future contemplation.

I had one of those moments just before New Year's when I walked through the cemetery to visit Chris' grave. I took a different route than usual and was walking towards his grave from behind when I suddenly saw that his headstone had finally been installed. My breath caught in my throat and my step wavered for a moment for I knew what I was about to see: my own name.

Despite having spent months e-mailing back and forth with the cemetery representative who very patiently indulged my micro-management of endless and minute aesthetic details like font sizes and 'white space' of the headstone that I had designed, I was about to look upon the real thing. The key facts, literally set in stone.

It’s an extraordinary and difficult concept to try and grasp: one’s own mortality. I can’t. Despite having experienced the loss of so many loved ones in recent years, I still can’t really wrap my head around the idea of my own death. I guess that’s a good sign! Obviously it will happen some day. Hopefully I’ll be ready for it – or unaware of it happening. Who knows…

And so there I was. My name cut into the shimmering black granite below Chris’. Waiting patiently, without time, beyond time…


No comments: