To the Bottom

by | Dec 29, 2010 | 2 comments

The thoughts and pain are really pooling around me now so I will try to dump them out in no particular order. 

Today it’s raining here and with Audrey still running a fever and definitely not herself, we have just been hanging around the house all day.  I also feel like I may have a fever. 

Funny how the pampering of the body didn’t help the emotional pain, but when the body is ill, it does seem to make it all worse.

I keep thinking what did you eat that day, did you not sleep enough, did you get so warm when you walked to the lake taking the photos that I now look at on your phone.  I look back from the ones I’ve taken since then, watching Audrey get smaller and talk less.  I am amazed to hear my own voice sounding energetic in those early days, “Oh, look at Audrey dancing in her tutu!” I say on the video I took on your phone a few weeks after your death.

I scroll back amazed and saddened at how much Audrey has changed already since your death.

But then I freeze when that shadow of a tree over pavement- the last photo you ever took, stares back at me.

“Why? Why?” I ask.

Because the  more the mysticism dies down, the more this isn’t dramatic or surreal, but very, very real.  The more commonplace, mundane things I remember that we shared, the less this is about the “cellist who reportedly drowns” and you…you my love.

Sometimes I think if you had died some other way, I would be more at peace- though I know that’s not true.  In the very beginning, I wanted the autopsy to reveal nothing so I could believe your death was mysterious and appointed.  Then for a brief time, I wanted to hear that you’d had a heart attack because then maybe you had a heart condition that you would’ve died from anyway- then maybe your death wouldn’t have been so damn preventable.

When our flight got canceled I heard a lot of “Things happen for a reason,” from those around me, regarding the flight.

I don’t know if I can buy any of this anymore- does that make sense?  Before this, I lived my life very much according to that philosophy- but that philosophy- and that’s what it is- really has nothing to do with God- is very small.  It looks to find the reason usually- in that very formulaic way- oh this happened because Audrey had a fever so this way she gets to rest a few more days.  But the strands are endless- the way the millions of lives and circumstances can possibly weave together infinite really. 

This is too small.

The other option is to believe nothing happens for a reason or is planned.  The blizzard happened due to weather patterns that can be explained by science.  Airplanes don’t fly well in blizzards so our flight was canceled.  Might there be some benefits…yes.  Might there have been some if we went home…probably. 

The third option though, I suppose, is to believe that yes, things are happening for a greater purpose, but we are just way too small to understand anything while we’re here.  This is the one that feels like such a cop out to me.

If the afterlife is so great, I keep thinking, then why did Christ raise Lazarus from the dead? 

What is precious about this life if when it is taken abruptly without warning, all is well for that loved one?  Yet that is what people wish me to believe? 

If God is not a cruel god, but is working our pain for our own good, what kind of a God would create creatures that require such excruciating correction, but oh yes, that’s right- it’s all our fault- for eating the fruit of course.

Nothing sounds believable right now.

I am tired of puzzling over all of this as if I could arrive at some comforting answer.  I’ve been searching for meaning in your tragic death pretty much since the very first day, but there is none.  I know, I know, again, so arrogant of me to assume that because I can’t find any meaning, there is none that a much higher power could understand.  But in some ways, that reasoning is like a bungee cord that just keeps me dangling, almost touching the bottom, but not quite before pinching me back up again.  All this dangling is wearing me out.

I want to touch the bottom.


December 29, 2010


  1. Anonymous

    Thank you for writing this. My husband died 17 months ago I too puzzle over and over about his death, where he has gone to if anywhere, my faith and former belief system shattered.

  2. Jo Julia

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm much further out now- past seven years. If I can be of any help, please email me through the contact form on the about page.


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