I don't know why, but I thought going to the cemetery would be... I don't know, therapeutic? Give me some closure? I haven't been there since well before I got married. Maybe staring at the headstones would make me feel better? Make me feel close to them? Make me feel like I'm with them?
I left school.
I got in the car, waited for the cars to pass, moving slowly so as to not slide on the slush. It was sunny today, so some of the snow was beginning to melt. Cars were going slightly slower. I followed them. I had to go around the block because of the way the car was parked, so the drive was taking longer than anticipated. I was alone.
I drove mindlessly, barely listening to the Christmas music that blared "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year." My mind wasn't really on Christmas. Just family.
As I drove, my thinking relying more on my emotions, thinking about how I miss them, my rational side kicked in; the Bill Parrish part of me, I call it. My mind suddenly stopped thinking, "Maybe I'll feel better seeing their headstones." Instead it thought, "Will going to the cemetery really make you feel any better?" I realized it wouldn't, not really. It would just make it worse.
I turned the car around.
Why are we sad when people die? Physically, they are here. The bodies are here. But the spirit is not. The personality is not. The souls that we connect with, the hearts that we grow to love, the spirits that we are knit together with... they are not there, and that is what we miss. That is what we long for.
And when that spirit is called home, the person isn't here.
Humans are so interesting. Humans are conflicting. We say one thing, and mean the next. We want one thing, then we want the next thing. We want evidence. We want proof. We want to see.
And when someone that we love die, and they are placed into the ground, no longer physically in our lives, no longer physically in our sight, we become sad, depressed, angry, confused, irritated, irrational, conflicted, hurt. We experience so many emotions.
Because it's not just the person we miss. It's the soul.
We want that soul with us. We want to see them, touch them, hear them, smell them, experience life with them by our side. We want them here, holding our hands, wiping our tears, kissing our cheeks, squeezing us in their embrace.
And when the spirit leaves, there is only the body. And therefore, the soul is temporarily parted. The body is here, the spirit is there, and the soul is waiting.
I don't know how it all works, but when I think of those who pass on, I wonder if those spirits watch over us; that spirits of loved ones who pass through into another life watch us, perhaps like watching through another dimension that we are unable to see with our mortal eyes. I wouldn't be surprised if they walk besides us sometimes. Maybe not all the time, but when they can. I wonder if they watch us during our hardest moments, and our happiest moments.
I wonder if they miss us. I wonder if it's harder for them than it is for us. I wonder if they see us, wanting to comfort us, wanting to tell us, "Hey, it's ok! Really, if you could just see and understand what I see and understand, you wouldn't be so sad. You wouldn't be so hurt." I wonder if they cry when we cry, yearn to hold us in their arms, and hurt even more when they realize that because of the separation, we can't feel them. I wonder if it hurts for them to realize that due to mortality, we can't feel them, knowing full well that we only can comprehend and understand such physical contact. I wonder...
All the better reason to prepare. All the more reason to be that soul that is ready.
I can't see them today. Or tomorrow. Or for however long. But I know they were ready, some of the readiest people that I know. They are just waiting to be reunited.
I want my soul to be as lovely as theirs.
“His soul sat up. It met me. Those kinds of souls always do - the best ones. The ones who rise up and say "I know who you are and I am ready. Not that I want to go, of course, but I will come." Those souls are always light because more of them have been put out." - The Book Thief