The thing about life is all the unanswered questions. A rolling inevitability that, at some point, you are going to sit on the edge of your bed, looking at the sky, and ask ‘why?’
My life has been full of unanswered questions. Which is really annoying. Especially when you have been a parent and had to answer thousands of ‘but why?’ Questions. I often think it’s not asking for much that on the rare occasion I ask a why? A handwritten note from God doesn’t float down on to my lap. Although it would probably just say ‘because’ on it.
Some of the why’s I have recently asked have included “why is my ex-husband such a grade A asshole?” And “why is my son’s dad such a grade A asshole?” I think though that the answer lies within the question itself. So I can shrug it off.
The ones that vex me though often come after illness or death.
I understand life is a rolling inevitability. We are born, we stumble through life like a drunk playing pin the tail on the donkey until we eventually hit the target, and then we die. It’s rather depressing really. The point is though, we all know we are going to die. It’s just we rather expect it to come when we have reached out 80’s or our 90’s. Once we have enjoyed retirement and watched our children grow old. That’s when it’s supposed to happen right? Nobody asked ‘but why?’ When my great grandma died.
I didn’t ask ‘why?’ when my Dad developed Vascular Dementia. I knew why. We all did. He didn’t take care of himself. He ignored the four heart attacks and countless strokes. The warnings from doctors that started back on 1991.
Instead of asking ‘why’ I just accepted it. Which meant I could process it. Which meant I could see past it. Dad had a fantastic life. He enjoyed every minute. And as his dementia developed he seemed to manage to enjoy that. One of the last times I saw him he was telling me about a party he was having with Obama, Alison Moyet and his friend Paul (he introduced me to Paul who was in the room. Paul wasn’t actually in the room.) He then went on to explain the Michael Jackson couldn’t come because he was looking for his monkey.
There were no why’s with Dad. There was sadness, tears and sometimes laughter. But mostly acceptance. Mostly acknowledgement. Understanding.
It made the whole thing easier.
When someone young dies it is nearly always followed by a ‘but why?’
It’s a fair question.
One I find myself asking this morning.
Why, when the world is so full of grade A arseholes, do the beautiful ones have to die?
Why, when people are using their lives to bring so much destruction to the world, does life take from us the ones who bring laughter, happiness, and love?
Unfortunately, the answer isn’t so easy to find. I like to think this answer also lies in the first question I asked.
That life itself is a grade A arsehole.
So, instead of saying ‘why?’ for the next few days. I’m going to say ‘wow.’
To my friend Suzi Moore. For counseling me through some hard times. For drunk tears about how shit things can be. For laughter. For acknowledgment. For knowing. For your brutal honesty and fantastic humour in your writing.
For being an incredibly beautiful human being.
Thank you for the words. See you soon. Make sure there is tonic.
The Thing About is a brilliant series of articles written by Suzi Moore for Huffington Post. Please read them here …
Best known for her both rhyme and prose, Suzi engaged children across the age range, and always with real heart and authenticity. Some of her work included Little One’s Bedtime illustrated by Rosie Reeve (Simon and Schuster), Two Little Bears illustrated by Nicky O’Byrne (Bloomsbury), Whoops! illustrated by Russell Ayto (Templar), and two novels, Lexiland and Tiger Moth (Simon and Schuster).