Surreal doesn’t necessarily mean a good experience, it just means that it was almost an unbelievable moment that was devoid of any rationality. I have lived through some pretty precarious moments in my life (and, most importantly, survived), but to call them surreal is to give them too much power.
If I had to choose one moment in my life, the one moment that I couldn’t believe was really happening, when I received that phone call… The one that told me the last time I would see my beloved cousin would be in a coffin.
I have written about my cousin once before here and talked more about the right to move on after having mourned a less-than-perfect relationship. It is well within all our rights to move on because he is gone. There is no reason to hold on to a ghost. Ghosts are meant for haunting because their business is unfinished, but I think it’s more or less the person they are haunting is really just not over the person that is gone. Ghosts only exist in our mind if we feel that we didn’t get to say good-bye properly, or say one last thing to them so they knew how we felt before they ceased to exist in our lives (this can go for the living, too).
When I received that phone call, I couldn’t believe it, but my mother’s intolerable sobbing and shrieks only made it more believable. Then came the soothing, freakish calm in my father’s voice that made it all the more clear. The rest of the day, I cried. I worked. I cried some more. I planned to go to Texas. I called my family, made some arrangements, then drove 26 hours to Texas with someone I barely knew (in-law of the older brother of my dead cousin).
That drive was unbelievable. It was so far, and seemed never-ending and to top it all off it wasn’t for fun. You never think about the last time you’re going to see your favorite family member… You never think that you are going to have to be forced to see someone you love dearly in a coffin after years of “we should get together”, “we got to get the kids together”… He never met my kids. It’s a sad realization that you can’t come to terms with until it’s right in front of you; cold and set in rigor mortis.
The entire trip was surreal because I figured I had more time. More time to say hello. More time to make a trip. More time to be less broke and less sad and less attached to an asshole to see him and his family. Less time to be so busy with my own problems, and more time to travel and tour and see family.
I guess there really is never enough time. Living in the now is what has to be done. We work our asses off, live paycheck to paycheck, to never really live out our dreams. People die before their time because it doesn’t wait for you to have enough time to see the people you want to see, do things you want to do…
A life not lived is surreal enough… It is the most irrational thing any human being can do. Yet, it happens so much so we’ve accepted that as our reality. I want to make my dreams reality, do things that can be impossible and give more time to my family, to take my children to places they’ve seen in picture books.
Doing the impossible shouldn’t be surreal. It should be the standard. Living a boring, uneventful life should be considered surreal.
Inspired by: The Daily Prompt