What’s the truth? What’s the one inevitable fact about all life on this planet? That we are going to cycle out of this form and die. We don’t know when, we don’t know how, but we do know that when our time comes, we are going to be taken and returned to the earth and to the universe. We are going to be returned whether we have done good or bad, whether we want to or not.
I used to be so scared to talk about death, to talk about truth. The last 15 years with Jeremy have directly, and indirectly, taught me to embrace some pretty heavy truths about life, love, and the pursuit of both. When I look into his face, I see life and death, heaven and hell, every duality that exists. We live and love on a line, a precipice, and we balance as best we can without falling into the abyss. But death is there, death is everywhere, and we are embraced by it and almost have to embrace it back to really know the joy of life, even when it’s a life spent in prison.
Prison is a place of hard times, hard sentences, and the hard reality that death is ever present, sometimes in the most violent ways. I’m not ignorant to the fact that my husband could be murdered at any time, and his being targeted before makes this a heart stopping fear that I live with daily. It doesn’t take hold of me and render me unable to function, but it’s there. I sit with these truths and they become the foundation on which I build my ability to cope with this harsh experience.
Every time there is a death at the prison, murder or natural causes alike, I hold my breath while I scour the Internet for name information. I don’t spin out of control in anticipation of what I will find, but I poker face the shit out of my emotions and try to be as rational as possible with undercurrents of acceptance. What is death? It’s a transition. It’s a reality.
It’s timing is unknown.
My heart has been steady pounding in my chest, more intensely each second, as I write this. I am thinking of the realities of life and love, more specifically my reality with Jeremy and how scary and raw and maddening it can all seem sometimes. I am thinking about how I worry about his safety constantly, but don’t let it consume my being. I am thinking about how, in this life of such uncertainty and at times gut wrenching circumstances, that I found someone I can say I truly loved before I departed this world, whether it be tomorrow or 70 years from now. I think that finding that love is the purpose of life, no matter where you find it. Did you find it on a park bench on a sunny day? Did you find it in the grocery story while you were smelling the lemons? Did you find it in a prison half of your life ago?
“We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us”-Charles Bukowski
We are laughing at the odds and it’s a beautiful reminder that life is oftentimes difficult, but as everything is, the difficult times are fleeting.