Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Three funerals and a graduation

My life, or at least the periphery of my life, has undergone momentous change in the last few weeks. Three deaths and a high school graduation are a lot to process.

And yet, on the surface at least, little has changed. My parents are both orphans, and my father is short one brother. My son will start college in the fall. The most profound impact will be on my mother, who is no longer the caretaker of two elderly women and one ailing brother-in-law. On a personal level, however, time just keeps marching on at its normal, uninspired pace.

With so much external change, it seems like something should be happening internally. If nothing else, I suppose a creeping sense of my own mortality is lingering there just beneath the surface, nudged into a less dormant state by these events. Even my son's graduation is a not-so-subtle reminder of the fleeting passage of time. His childhood marks the span of my own passing from young and stupid to middle-aged and perplexed, a period of sublime transformation for him, and an unremarkable progression for me.

This awareness might be more pronounced, but the existential angst one might expect is noticeably lacking. No dread, no panic, no spiritual crisis. If anything (and this is the one thing that scares me), there's more of an acceptance of the path I've taken, and a kind of fatalism regarding the future.