Time does pass. It gets on with its business, leaving some behind, taking others along for the ride.
Sometimes, the clock runs out before we think it should. Other times, it drags out long after we wish it would stop.
I saw today that the father of someone I used to know had passed away. I only ever met his father a few times, though my mom knew him well. They were of a similar generation, just like I was with his son. We knew each other by simple virtue of proximity, though there was some friendship there as well when we were much, much younger. Literal kids, not even halfway through high school and before that too.
For his son, the clock ran out years ago. Far too soon. Even though I wasn’t close to him by that point in time, and in truth never was deeply close to him, there was something special about him. That loss has haunted a little corner of my heart a bit, I have to say. It was just stupidly tragic, you know? It shouldn’t have happened but it did, and nothing could have changed the outcome.
As I get older, there are more and more of those losses, the little ones and the big ones. There’ve been several big ones in the last few months, and not an insignificant number of smaller ones. Smaller for me because of distance, but huge for the people close to those who are gone.
Part of getting older is learning to deal with loss. It’s just something that happens if you get older. People die. They run out of time. I won’t say you get used to it, but you do learn to brace for the blows. Of course, when you get to the point that you expect you’re used to it, that’s when Fate comes along and slams you with the force of a freight train.
I try as much as is possible not to focus on the losses. That’s something that will cause a person no end of grief, literally, and I believe it takes away from the memories of the people who are gone. It’s necessary to focus on the loss to some degree, but we have to fight not to let it overtake us. That said, there’s a sharp pinch that occurs, especially when one loss reminds us of another, that adds a layer of sadness to the picture. And today, there are a lot of layers of sadness.
Time keeps marching on, and the clock keeps spinning. That’s the way of things. It’s a form of renewal and cleansing, I think, entirely necessary, but necessarily painful. It seems to be marching faster now that I’m older, and I don’t like that. It was already fast enough.