Life is unpredictable and unforgiving. You must accept the things it offers up without warning. Offer is the wrong word, it implies that I have a choice to accept it or not. Some things are offered and some are just dropped, unceremoniously right in your lap. There’s no getting around them. Slammed into existence. Like a meteor landing on a well known road whose path you’ve travelled for so long, suddenly cutting off access. Suddenly you find yourself wading waist-high through overgrown grass, thickets of thorn bushes, foreboding trees, wondering where the fuck you’re supposed to go now. Which direction leads to another road. There are no “directions” to go. No tiny little foot paths hidden beneath the brush, worn by the feet of long-ago travelers that might give you a clue. It’s just an overgrown wilderness and suddenly you’re there all alone. Why did he shoot himself in the head? Is he at peace now? Where is the new fucking road I’m supposed to be on? Did I do it wrong? No, don’t fall into that cliche. You didn’t do anything wrong. This was his choice. But still, the “what-ifs” are so determined to be heard. No. I will not hear them. They are a fool’s trap. Look the other way. Where the fuck are you? Why did he leave? Why did he choose that tree in that parking lot facing the road? The exact same tree whose shade served as our picnic blanket while we ate lunch so many times before. Why did he choose that spot? What was he thinking? What was the catalyst that let loose the sorrow that finally pulled him under forever? What was great shadowy cloud that moved overhead to finally block the last vestige of light from his view? What was he thinking as his hand, gun nestled firmly in his palm, moved to the temple of his head? Did he hesitate? Did he wonder if this would pass? Did he wonder if anyone would care? Were there tears in his eyes or relief in his heart? What was he thinking when his finger moved from the top of the trigger down to the curved part of the gun that he told me never to touch unless I was ready to shoot? What was he thinking? Did he hesitate? Did he have tears in his eyes or relief in his heart? Did he remember that I loved him? Did he know that I cared? What was the thing that finally pushed him forever over the edge?
I should be working. I should be reviewing this case but how can I work when there are so many questions? When working is the thing that frees my brain to acknowledge the questions are even there? No, my sorrow does not block out my sun. This sorrow does not make me long for death. I should be working but instead I am writing these words on this laptop that sits next to my desk.
What was he thinking as he picked up the gun? Did he know I would remember all the things that he said? Was he comforted knowing I would honor his wishes and fight off the wolves that he knew would descend when they heard he was gone? Is he somewhere right now finally free?
Push back these thoughts. Block out the questions. Go back to work. Life keeps living even after the living are dead. Where is the road? Am I already on it?