Last night I had another amazing talk with my amazing boy before bedtime. He asked me, "Have you ever been in a situation that you wish you didn't have to be in because it's so painful but you're glad it's happening because of what it's revealing about you and teaching you about yourself?" Sounds like he's just describing gratitude, and he is, but arriving there is far more complex and he's alluding to the journey.
I told him that it was important for him to know that he's far more mature in his thinking than 99% of teenagers but also about that percentage of human beings in general. That's an advanced human. Many of us can look back on events and evaluate them that way, but to have such refined judgment about a situation we're presently in is, in my experience, quite rare and extraordinarily insightful. And difficult. Most of us are too attached to our beliefs and ideas to examine them or see them in a different way, let alone question their validity and abandon them while we're battling for survival. This might be common among survivors and their families, but I doubt it. He came here with this, it was part of him before he got cancer, he just didn't know how to articulate it.
This was my first thought upon waking this morning, and in discussing it with my wife, I've come to realize that recent events may be the only thing that could have finally pushed me to recognize and understand the right path I need to take for detachment. Riad said, "When I heard about Leonard Cohen's death, I was so happy for him. What a great time to go. He must be so relieved." So, there she is, wishing for death, some kind of death, to ease the pain of the death she knows is sure to come.
Part of us needs to die to be able to survive what's coming. To make room for what will be born in its place. Those who've passed through unimaginable loss understand what I'm saying. Whatever path we choose to find it, seeking emotional detachment is the only way to survive - and help others survive - the destruction that is sure to follow. It is not just false evidence appearing real, destruction is coming. And part of us has to die to be reborn as a result of this death. I hope to come back grateful it happened, as Seamus suggested, and I hope you can, too.