The answer is I'm not really certain. Over the years, there have been many tragic deaths of public figures around my age (Philip was just under 8 months my senior) and I don't do heroin.
And to be fair, the idea of me taking the death of a total stranger personally, of absorbing his passing into my own little narrative is both disrespectful to him and his son and two daughters, and Mimi for that matter, and frankly a little rude.
But here I am doing it any way.
I keep swinging back and forth, back and forth. On the one end I am profoundly sad at the loss of such a wonderful talent and a loss (almost a hole in reality) of the future performances he would have most certainly given the world. When the pendulum reaches the other side I feel this deep panic for my own life and a deep need I can't quite identify.
A need to appreciate?
A need to be more diligent?
A need to work harder?
A need to be a better person?
A need to reset my priorities?
A need to do more for others?
A need to... what? What is it?
The answer seems absurdly simple. But it keeps showing up in this obsessive thought circle.
I need to avoid wasting the time I've been given. Time is more precious than any physical wealth in this world. What's the Hobbit riddle?
This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins towns,
And beats high mountain down.
It's time. Or Time. Or TIME! (booming drums)
If we're lucky we have about 30,000 days. I've burned up about 16,746. I haven't wasted all of those days. I've had some pretty spectacular days in there. Lots. But I've wasted some... maybe many.
Maybe today I start working on minimizing those wastes. The more I think about it, the more I begin to realize, to spot the waste, both mental and physical. Mental even more than physical.
For example, this weekend I had an ongoing negative conversation with a person from work. This person made a comment late last week and that comment stuck with me and I felt I had to state my case on the subject, to convince that person to my way of thinking. I don't know how long this conversation went on, but I'd say it ate up several hours of my weekend.
And it was all in my head.
What a horrible waste of time.
I don't know how Mimi and Philip's children are going to get through this. I have no capacity to comfort someone suffering that much pain.
But I can hope for them. That at least. At the very least.
And I can work harder at recognizing and removing the waste in my life.
Thanks for reading... of to... not sure what honestly.