R.I.P. OK. I get it. It’s not meant to be funny. But, let’s be honest there is something a bit ridiculous behind the words that are muttered uncomfortably by those who knew parts of us and avoided entirely by those who knew us well – if we are lucky.
I look at the phrase and cannot pinpoint why it feels so uncomfortable to me.
Rest in Peace. Really though? Most of us spend our lives on earth looking for that peace, hoping it is hiding behind any and all of the things we are reaching for, and then when life is snatched away, unexpectedly, finally and without any explanation, it is up to those of us left behind to romanticize this notion, that perhaps now – now you will finally find the peace you were looking for.
The peace you deserved.
And if you do, hey, maybe you could send us a piece of it as well?
Cause we don’t have any.
Vicious cycle, and all that.
And maybe the tragedy is not as bad as it seems on this side of the looking glass, because we don’t really know what lurks ahead or what you have gone on to experience without us.
You needed to go first, I suppose. And you have treaded bravely ahead in ways that seem so brutally unfair to me. Is this how it ends? You were not someone who can end.
We have known for some time now that the world does not deal justly, but somehow I always find myself waiting for a happy ending, if it must end at all.
But it does, and it has, and you were beautiful and important and have left us with words which are empty and heavy all at the same time, and I couldn’t tell you why the sadness leads to bubbles of laughter, or how heaviness treads lightly and then jumps on you all at once with absolutely no concern for your feelings.
I do not know what death was like for you, since we cannot talk about it yet, but for me your death is not remotely real, because no one as big as you could be taken by something as pitiful as death.
There was too much of you to disappear or carry on without leaving fractions behind. I see it in what you left me. I hear it in my head. I know you’re smirking somewhere, mildly pleased that I could not escape you even if I tried, but don’t worry friend, because I would never even want to try.
If you are resting, and not galloping across streams and mountains and star maps like wild psychedelic horses at the speed of sound, (as we both know you are,) I hope it is peaceful – of course I do. But you’ll have to forgive me for being selfish.
All my words, and silent screams and horrible blocks of dread that are anchored inside of me can not and will not fit into a phrase like Rest in Peace.
I hope you look down on me tonight in loud screaming glory from your bed in the cosmos and that you know that I already can’t wait to see you again… so meet me when I come one day, yeah? Because until then, my pieces have absolutely no chance of resting in peace without yours beside them.
Written in 2016. Resurrected in 2017 by the many feelings that come out at night.
(Photo found online and appears to be drawn by a human named Isaiah Stephens, who I have never met, but I would venture a guess, is pretty damn cool.)