Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I hate this fixation.

Lately my head has been too full of morbidity to write. Because R. and I are leaving for Paris on Saturday, we’ve had a mad scramble to complete our wills and make sure our affairs are in order before we leave. Obviously, the odds are small that anything will happen to us on our trip, but there’s always the possibility and it would be irresponsible for us to go without making arrangements for the care and feeding of young Eeyore. Well, guess what – focusing on a bunch of documents concerning my death and/or incapacity is really fucking depressing. Not only that, there’s something sort of weird about it which feels like a jinx – like thinking about it so much and planning for it means it’s going to happen.

I’ve never really given any thought before to what happens after I die, other than thinking in the abstract that it would be awful for my mom since as we all know, we’re supposed to die before our children. Frankly, I don’t enjoy having to give it more thought than that, and all of a sudden it’s the topic of the day, every day. I’ll be glad when we get the papers signed this afternoon, stick them in our files, and move away from the topic and back to things like retirement and college funds and wishing we were going to the beach this summer.

Other morbid thoughts are about the earthquake in China and the hurricane in Burma. I fear that it’s a sad cliché, but ever since I had a kid I get so much more emotional over any event where there’s been harm of any kind to children. Like, really emotional. Yesterday I was looking at some photos on the New York Times site and I had to turn away when I saw one of a mother grieving over her dead child. I got that awful, tight feeling in my throat which presages tears, and then there they were. I don’t really understand it; kids died and were abused and all sorts of awful stuff before I had a kid, and I could think in the abstract “that’s really awful” but now it hits me viscerally in a way I could never have imagined before. I guess that’s some type of growth on my part, but I can’t say I like it.

Tomorrow or Friday I’ll write about how excited I am for my trip so as to assure you all is not a giant bummer around our house.


Libby said...

Our morbidity makes us human and enhances our ability to love in that when we really consider our death we also really consider our life. JM2C.

I'm glad you have a Parisian holiday coming up, Bon Voyage!

Broady said...

BD and I have been having similar conversations lately... and man is it a buzz kill. Just imagining someone else raising our child, as well as the fact of all that we would miss out on in life is, as you say, fucking depressing.

But Paris is going to be an awesome experience for you guys... and after you are done wrestling with the paperwork/decision making of death, you'll probably feel a load off of your shoulders and can fully enjoy yourselves and your getaway.

It always amazes me how many smart, educated people leave these administrative chores undone, only for their loved ones to struggle w/ lawyers, probate, and bill collectors because it wasn't fun to deal with it before they made their final exit.