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Allen Clarke Allen Clarke
Recommendations: 18

That Lonesome Valley


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She had a friend.

I don`t often write about the darker side of Life, but tonight, I thought I would just let it all out. Lately, I have heard of so many people dying, and I don`t suppose I would feel the pangs of mourning; so at gut level, if the news weren`t so close to home. It seems like we are here one minute and we are gone in the next instant. When we were young, we just didn`t consider the final departure; as intensely as we do now. Was it that we were all in a constant state of denial? Or was it that even to whisper the mention of our final demise;as something taboo or distasteful? We didn`t dare to speak of it in front of the children. Why, they would have a fit! Or would they? Sometimes, I think we underestimate the wisdom of the very young.
Staring down into the casket of the dearly departed, we feign to explain that; Grandma,is just sleeping. And the little moppet looks up at us; with those big saucer eyes,and a look of definitive puzzlement. You can almost hear the little one`s thoughts..Yeah, right..just like the time you tried to explain Santa Claus to me, huh?
And when they discover that we lied to them, we are never, ever, going to be the same in their sight. I mean, why bother to lie about..death. There...I said it! It`s the dreaded `D`word.
How damn callous this world has become! Compassion has become a byword. Most places of employment will only grant one day off for grieving purposes! My, God, what have we become? Is it that a man is just naturally expected to bravely carry on his work-shift just 24 hours after burying someone he has lived with for a lifetime?
We all have to walk that lonesome valley. We all have to say our final good-byes. Who knows when? If we knew our appointed time, maybe we would try to be a little gentler with one another. It`s just wishful thinking, I suppose.
Yesterday, I went to wash some of our clothes at a local laundromat. I met a man there and struck up a conversation. Without thinking,I joked about how his wife had him slaving away. I wanted to shrink away in embarrassment, when he told me that his wife was recently departed. I immediately apologized in profusion, but of course,the words were already out there and could never be returned.
How flippantly we address one another is another testament to our fallible humanity. Still,with each passing day, we come to realize that our lives are like the the tiny grains of sand in an hourglass. I, for one have, decided that I will live to enjoy life before I,too, must walk that lonesome valley.


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