Youth is such a good liar. It tells you that things will last forever, that you will always look like this, that you will always feel this way, that you will live forever. But you don't - although youth doesn't let you believe that. Life in general does a good job of distracting you from the point where forever ends.
Death on the other hand has a sure fire way of reminding you at breakneck speed how sharp that point can be. Every time somebody I know passes away I am suddenly, cruelly, throbbingly aware that I am alive and that they are not. Being truly alive is an almost death - one that is not your own, or one that could have been your own; a too close encounter, an almost, a could have been. Your veins pump searing hot adrenaline that burns the thought I am still here, I am still here on your mind.
And that is the only truth sometimes. Everything else cannot be trusted. I think of all the people I know that are no longer. How their memories and words and laughs live on in photographs framed on bedside tables and flowers laid too quietly on the ground. The photographs I have are not precious enough to be framed, I have never had to lay flowers on the ground.
So I think of those who I am scared to be alive without. I think of all the parents of friends who aren't around anymore to embarrass them on facebook or worry if they're feeding themselves okay and combing their hair before they leave the house. And I remember my parents are here still to like everything I do on facebook and worry if I'm feeding myself okay and combing my hair before I leave the house (Yes I get fed Dad, No mum I don't comb my hair). I think of class mates and neighbours and people I barely knew or not at all who were my age. I think of their parents who never had and never will have the chance to do that. I think of how their kids will never be older than thirteen, seventeen, too young, too soon. I think, I know, I feel how alive I am - how alive everybody is in my life.
Because that is it and I don't ever want to forget it. The YOLO people have it wrong, I'm with Moliere - 'We die only once, and for such a long time'. But we're here now and that is it and that's all we have, that's all I have. To be here even if it burns you, even if it makes you sick, even if you are here and alive and somebody else is not. To be here, to live, to know what that means.
You're still here,
You are still here,
You still are,
You are here.