Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Remarking on Something Remarkable

Dear John,
I think something remarkable may have happened today. And so I am remarking on it.
We were having a fairly slow day at work so I had some time to think. I don't remember my train of thought. But suddenly the idea came to me that my death would be a loss to the world. It seemed to me that I have value.
You want to Gibbs-slap me right now. Don't worry - if I ever say any of this to Jen, she will take care of that for you. It sounds obvious, in a way. Every life is unique and contributes to the whole. But this is the first time since your death that I've thought of myself as having value. I never worried about that before your death. I had value to you, and that was all that mattered to me. Feeling worthless appears to be one of the prevailing problems of widowhood; we've lost the person we gave our lives to. It's part of the identity crisis that we all go through.
Today I wasn't thinking about people who would miss me or skills I have. It wasn't that concrete. I was aware of myself as unique, as somebody who can't be replicated and will never walk the earth again. It was about the essence of me-ness. I know that I'm making no sense at all. It doesn't make sense to me, either - not the sense of logic and the real world. For once in my life, it isn't about logic. It's an awareness of myself as having an intrinsic, existential worth. I don't believe I've ever felt that way before.
This will require further pondering, which I hope produces clarification. Or, at least, something in understandable English. It's too nebulous now for language. I'll let you know if I can find words for this. Instead of my usual crawling around in the back of my head, I may need to visit my heart. It's much less tidy and less familiar to me. It may be my soul that I need to explore.
I will keep you posted on whatever-it-is. If you have any insights, please let me know. You know my number, so text me! You always have known me better than I know myself. Does the world really need one more aging hippie in a turquoise bandanna?
Not-quite-so-worthlessly yours,

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